By Brandon Ferris
A 3-2 loss to Quinnipiac on Nov. 6 ended another successful season for the field hockey team.
As the No. 3 seed in the MAAC tournament, Rider (12-7, 4-2 MAAC) took on the No. 2 seed Quinnipiac in a thrilling semifinal game. When it looked like the game was headed to overtime for sure, the Bobcats scored on senior goalkeeper Joelle Prettyman off a penalty corner with no time remaining on the clock.
Rider suffered the tragic goal after taking a penalty in the 70th minute.
Senior midfielder Rachel Ippolite acknowledged that although it’s not the way she wanted to end her Rider career, she’s proud of the steps her team took this season.
“I am upset at how the game ended,” she said. “I felt like we dominated most of the game, but came up short at the end. However, as a whole, we did have a successful year and I am proud of what we accomplished as a team.”
For the Broncs, freshman forward Angie Price and sophomore forward Shannon Hughes scored a goal apiece. Hughes scored the first of the game at the 15-minute mark off of a rebound from the corner, and finished the season with four goals.
Price scored her sixth goal of the year in the 50th minute, tying the game at 2-2. Ippolite was able to notch an assist in her last collegiate game on Price’s goal. Price scored on a tip after a long pass by Ippolite who got her fourth assist of the season.
Despite the eventual turn of events, Price agreed that her goal was an important one.
“It was such a great feeling scoring the goal, but mainly I was happy I did it for the team so we could keep in the game,” she said. “After I scored, I thought now we just have to get another one so we can win this. We were all pretty pumped up after the goal. I was really happy I could get on the end of Rachel’s hit because she was playing so well and I wanted to do it for her and the seniors.”
Price won MAAC Rookie of the Week twice this year as a freshman.
In her last collegiate game, Prettyman made four saves and was handed the loss, putting her record to 10-5 on the year. Quinnipiac mustered 11 total shots in the game. Rider had an impressive 14 shots throughout the game. However, only five were on goal.
Unfortunately for the Broncs, this was not the first time losing to Quinnipiac in 2015. They lost to the Bobcats earlier this season in similar fashion — a 3-2-overtime loss on Oct. 23 at Ben Cohen Field.
While being a member of the NEC and the MAAC, the Broncs have qualified for the four-team conference tournament 16 years in a row. In 13 of those seasons, they made it to the championship game.
For the team’s three seniors — Ippolite, Prettyman, and back Melyssa Alonso — now is a time to reflect on the success they’ve had while wearing Rider cranberry.
“I’m very proud to say that each year I was a part of this team, we made the playoffs, winning the NEC championship my freshman year and going to an NCAA play-in game,” Ippolite said. “What I’m most proud of is finishing my career strong. Being a Division I athlete is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, but the most rewarding.”
Freshman midfielder Jessica Randazzo is very confident in the future of this young team.
“We are all looking forward to earning our seniors a MAAC championship next season,” she said. “We have a young team and we’re all focused on growing and becoming better teammates. We have a very bright future.”
Additional reporting by Brandon Scalea