Struggles continue for Rider, now 0-6

Sophomore Dan Friga battles for the ball against a Saint Francis (N.Y.) defender on Saturday as the Broncs fell to the Terriers.

By Jillian Shutt

The past two games have had the same results as the previous four for the men’s soccer team. Rider’s losing skid to open the year has stretched to six games as they dropped consecutive contests to Saint Francis (N.Y.), 3-0, last Saturday and Temple, 4-0, on Wednesday.

The Broncs were outshot by St. Francis 20-14. The Terriers had nine shots on goal, while the Broncs only had two. Although the Broncs had seven corner kicks to St. Francis’s four, Rider was unable to convert any attempts into goals.

On Saturday, junior Sal Lubrano and senior Andrew Cotes had good games against the Terriers, stated head coach Russ Fager.

Gabriel Bagot scored the first goal for St. Francis 12:34 into the first half. John Sallhag of SFC scored two goals for the Terriers, including a penalty kick halfway through the first half.

The last time these two teams met was in 2002, when Rider took the win with a score of 3-1.

In the beginning of the Temple game the Owls came out swinging while Rider was trying to find their way without the help of their two center backs who were unable to play. Temple scored three goals in the first 13 minutes of play, finally making the score 4-0 in the 61st minute of the game.

Sophomore Jason Giordano made his first collegiate start for the Broncs as goalkeeper due to the shoulder inury original starter sophomore Matt Perrella suffered in the previous game.

Fager also said senior Jim Bradley as putting forth a good effort on Wednesday.

The Broncs’ offense suffered, producing one shot on goal and five shots overall. Sophomore Dan Friga had the only shot on goal in the game for the Broncs.

The last time Temple and Rider met was in 2008 with a 3-0 loss for the Broncs. The last time Rider was able to win against their East Coast Conference rivals was in 2000.

According to Fager, “The team knew that these would be five very tough games.”

He also said, “The reason you play tough opponents before the conference games is to allow the team to play against teams that play quick and make good decisions so when you get to conference games, they can play with more confidence.  We just need to get the offense on track and we will be fine.”

Fager stated that the goal for the season this year is to be over .500, qualify as one of the top four teams in the MAAC and to play in the conference tournament.

“We need to put ourselves in a place where we can win and move to the NCAA’s,” he said. “That must seem like a long way from where we are right now.”

The Broncs’ next match is against NJIT on Saturday at home.

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