By Thomas Albano
After climbing its way back to a .500 winning percentage, the field hockey team looked to move toward a winning record as it hosted Colgate on Oct. 10 and traveled to Burlington, Vt., on Oct. 12.
The Broncs (7-5) first played host to Colgate at home and were able to come away with a 3-1 win. The battle against Vermont two days later would not end as quickly, but Rider obtained a 2-1 victory in double overtime to increase its winning streak to four games.
The match against Colgate (4-7, 3-0 Patriot League) started a bit rough for the Broncs. Four of Rider’s 10 first-period shots and five of the 10 first-period penalty corners happened between the 6:31 and 9:11 marks of the game, none of which resulted in a Bronc goal.
At the 12:31 mark of the match, the Raiders would get the first goal of the game from sophomore attacker Whitney Jones to take a 1-0 lead.
Multiple shot attempts and plays coming from penalty corners continued to be unsuccessful for the Broncs until the eighth shot of the period, when sophomore midfielder Carlota Alsina got her first goal of the season, which tied up the game. The 1-1 tie would be taken into halftime.
The Rider parade of shots and penalty corners continued in the second half, as there were eight Bronc penalty corners and 11 Bronc shots in the half. Both the Raiders’ senior goalkeeper Amanda DiDomizio, and Rider’s junior goalkeeper Joelle Prettyman would not let up from their playing intensity. DiDomizio had eight saves in the game, while Prettyman totaled five.
Something had to give, and fortunately for the Broncs, they were able to get a goal about seven minutes into the half as freshman midfielder Allison Baligian scored to give the team a 2-1 lead.
“It was a corner and [senior back Dezarae Fillmyer] had the ball and she inserted it to Carlota,” Baligian said. “Carlota sent a beautiful pass in and I just stuck my stick out and it went in.”
Rider would then get an insurance goal at the 63:27 mark from freshman forward Shannon Hughes to make it a 3-1 lead. That would be the final score as the Broncs took the win.
Head Coach Lori Hussong recognized Colgate’s competitiveness and a first half that could have been better for Rider.
“I think it was a well-played game,” Hussong said. “Colgate is a very good team. They’re coming off a three-game win streak and they’re 3-0 in their conference. Every time we play them they are a very tough opponent. I think the first half we had a better part to play. If we had just managed to put the ball into the cage when we had our opportunities, the game would have been on a different level.”
The team then traveled up to Burlington to take on the University of Vermont (1-12, 1-1 America East). Hussong described the game as evenly matched.
“It was a very physical game and both teams went after each other,” Hussong told GoBroncs. “Our defense did a very good job containing them.”
The first half of the game was a quiet one compared to the game against Colgate. While the Catamounts had four penalty corners in the half to none from the Broncs, both teams totaled four shots going into halftime 0-0.
A goal was scored in the second half, as Alsina put one in to make it a 1-0 game. Less than a minute later, Vermont responded with a goal of its own, bringing the game back to a tie.
The score remained tied after regulation, sending the game to overtime. After three Rider shots and a penalty corner by Vermont, the score did not change and the game went into a second overtime period.
In the 92nd minute, junior back Melyssa Alonso picked up a rebound from a penalty corner and scored a high shot into an empty net to give the Broncs the 2-1 win in double overtime.
The team will begin conference play on Oct. 17 when Rider hosts Monmouth (7-6). Two days later, the Broncs will travel to Hempstead, N.Y., for an out-of-conference match with Hofstra (9-5, 1-1 CAA).