By Carolo Pascale and Logan VanDine
For the second time this season, Rider faced a slate of games on short rest against Saint Peter’s on Oct. 6 and Manhattan on Oct. 9. The Broncs fell short against a desperate Saint Peter’s team, 1-0, but turned right around to deal a double overtime loss to Manhattan in a 1-0 win, putting Rider at 4-6-2 on the season.
Trying to gain a foothold in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) standings, the Broncs looked to earn what most considered an easy win on Oct. 6 while facing the Saint Peter’s Peacocks. In a shocking result, the Peacocks, who had not earned a win since September of 2019, managed to defeat the Broncs with a final score of 1-0.
“They were more desperate to win than we were, and they fought for every ball. When we failed to assert ourselves on the game, their belief and confidence grew further,” said Head Coach Drayson Hounsome.
Coming into the game, the Broncs were riding high after a win against Canisius the few days prior. Even though the Broncs were missing several players due to injury, they did get one of their best back on the field in junior forward Chloe Fisher.
As for the game itself, it was all Rider in the first half as it registered seven shots compared to Saint Peters’ two. Regardless of the shot totals, the score still stood at 0-0 at the end of the first half.
The second half started much differently for Rider and the Peacocks were hungry for a goal, rattling off a flurry of offensive chances, forcing Broncs sophomore goalkeeper Ellie Sciancalpore to make three saves in just seven minutes.
“Ellie played great in this match and has been doing amazing the past few games,” said Broncs junior midfielder Lindsey Maslow.
Despite the great play from Sciancalepore, Rider couldn’t get one in Saint Peter’s net, as the Peacocks continued their high tempo offensive pressure.
With the defensive wall bending, it was bound to break at some point and finally gave way when Saint Peter’s scored in the 85th minute, bursting into the win column for their first win in 21 tries.
“Saint Peter’s played hard. They wanted every 50/50 ball and they were very desperate for their first win,” said Broncs sophomore midfielder Hannah Freeman.
Freeman led the Broncs in shots with three.
The loss puts the Broncs at 3-6-2 overall and 1-3-1 in MAAC play.
Maslow said, “We know it was an unfortunate last game, but we are not going to let that bring us down, only fuel us to do better.”
Rider needed double overtime to beat Manhattan on Sept. 9 to notch their fourth victory on the season in a 1-0 win.
“We came off a really disappointing loss which felt like an overtime game on Wednesday, so we just needed to get three points today, and it feels good,” Hounsome said.
The Broncs and Jaspers were held scoreless in both halves, and not even the first overtime produced a winner. The first and only goal was scored in the 104th minute by Fisher as she put the game away for good, beating the Jaspers 1-0.
Throughout the game, the Broncs and Jaspers went back and forth in terms of shots, but Rider eventually took the edge finishing with 16 shots, six of which were on target.
Fisher, who was responsible for the game-winning goal, talked about how the play was set up and how she was able to score the winning goal.
“She [Rodrigues] played the ball across, and I shot, first being denied by the defender, which knocked her off her feet, and in the same moment the ball fell in between us, and I was a second faster to hit the ball into the bottom corner,” Fisher said.
Hounsome elaborated a bit more on his team’s overall performance.
“I was most proud of how we competed to get to the point where the ball went to the back of the net,” said Hounsome.
The goal was Fisher’s fifth of the season, tying her with Rodrigues for the team lead. Fisher is also the team leader in points of the season with 14.
“It was such a good attacking play that we did, and the team felt the weight off our shoulders drop as it went into the net,” Fisher added.
The Broncs will go for a second straight victory when they stay home on Oct. 13 to play the Marist Red Foxes at Ben Cohen Field.