By Jordan Hall
With the field hockey team’s storybook season coming to a close, now is a time to look ahead at the 2011 squad and its chances at defending its throne.
The NEC Champions ended the year with a gritty 2-1 loss at Albany, the 19th ranked team in the country, on Tuesday in the NCAA play-in round. The positive: next season seems bright.
Rider returns the nucleus of its title team, making for another expected championship run in 2011. The Broncs bring back seven of its top eight point leaders as well as goalkeeper, junior Rebecca Lotito, one of the premier stoppers in the nation.
Most importantly, the offensive threesome of junior Megan Pisani, the NEC Offensive Player of the Year, freshman Sandra Penas, the NEC Rookie of the Year and junior Virginia Egusquiza, the two-time NEC Player of the Year, will be wreaking havoc yet again.
Rider capped off the year with an overall ranking of 31st in America and enters next season 33-6 in its last 39 games and a perfect 16-0 in regular season conference matchups dating back to 2008.
Head coach Lori Hussong owns another championship caliber group; a team with an opportunity to continue its dominance over the NEC.