By Stephen Neukam
Another exciting year of Rider athletics means another season of accomplishments by the university’s athletes. These feats, accomplished by teams, teammates and individuals, create unforgettable moments. With that said, it is time to take a look back at the best of Rider athletics over the past year. Here are the top five moments of the 2018-19 season.
5. Devine Eke and Amari Johnson make ESPN SportsCenter Top 10.
Men’s basketball junior forward Devine Eke and women’s basketball junior guard Amari Johnson made spectacular plays that landed them on SportsCenter Top 10.
Eke’s highlight play was an alley-oop dunk that he finished off in a January victory over St. Peter’s. Johnson made a game-saving block in a win over Fairfield in January.
4. Men’s soccer wins MAAC Championship and makes NCAA Tournament.
The men’s soccer team strung together a five-game winning streak and upset the top two seeds in the tournament to win its third MAAC championship in four years.
Rider drew No. 16 Akron in the NCAA Tournament and lost 3-1 to the Zips on Nov. 15 in the first round. Sophomore Pablo DeCastro scored in the 78th minute of the high-profile contest.
3. Niamh Cashin represents England at U19 soccer tournaments.
Women’s soccer freshman back Niamh Cashin was called up by the England national team to play in the Union of European Football Association U19 Championship in Croatia in October.
Cashin appeared in all three games that the team played and earned her first career international start on Oct. 4. England won all three games by a combined score of 21-0.
2. Men’s swimming and diving team win eighth straight MAAC title.
The men’s swimming and diving team won its eighth straight conference title on Feb. 16 and outscored the second place team by 239 points.
In addition to the team’s accomplishment, Head Coach Steve Fletcher was named MAAC Men’s Coach of the Year for the sixth consecutive season after winning his ninth total MAAC championship.
1. Stella Johnson gets MAAC Player of the Year and triple-double.
Women’s basketball junior guard Stella Johnson put on an unforgettable performance on Nov. 17 when she recorded the program’s first-ever triple double by totaling 35 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and six steals in a 85-67 victory over Mount St. Mary’s.
Johnson was also awarded the MAAC Player of the Year on March 8. She was the second player to ever win the award in program history.