By Allie V. Riches
With less than seven minutes left in the second half, the Broncs scored two goals to defeat Quinnipiac, 2-0, on Sept. 28.
The win brought Rider’s conference record to 1-0-1 after the Broncs tied with Siena in their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game on Sept. 21.
Rider’s match with Quinnipiac started slow and neither team was able to find the goal. Quinnipiac led in shots on goal with six, while the Broncs only mustered one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes of action.
“We were somewhat quiet in the first half,” junior back Kaitlyn Siciliano said. “We talked about it and said that we needed more communication.”
Both teams pushed to produce offense in the second half. However, strong defensive play prevailed. Quinnipiac put nine shots on goal in the second half, all of which were saved by junior goal keeper Carmen Carbonell.
“[Carbonell] played great,” Head Coach Drayson Hounsome said. “She had 15 saves and five of those would’ve hit the back of the net. That’s what you want from your keeper.”
Carbonell’s performance against Quinnipiac helped her earn MAAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 30. Freshman midfielder Camryn Dees won MAAC Rookie of the Week honors on the same day after she recorded an assist against Quinnipiac.
Rider’s play decided the game in the closing six minutes. In the 84th minute, sophomore midfielder Ailis Martin scored the first goal of the game.
After breaking the tie, one thing was on the mind of senior midfielder Sofia Soares and the other Rider players: do it again.
“As soon as we managed to get the first goal, the huddle after was ‘Okay girls, let’s focus. Let’s let nothing past our defense and let’s get straight after it again,’” said Soares.
Less than a minute later, Soares netted a goal of her own. The pair of scores cemented the game for the Broncs and gave them the 2-0 victory.
Siciliano attributed the energy of the first goal as a catalyst to their second score.
“After we had that first goal, everyone was saying ‘Let’s go,’” Siciliano said. “I just heard a ton of talking on the field after that, which was really important.”
Quinnipiac outshot Rider 30-9 in the match, though Hounsome didn’t see that fact as a negative. “Another way to look at it is that out of their 30 shots, 15 of them gave us possession of the ball, so it definitely wasn’t something we were concerned about,” Hounsome said.
Hounsome also said that Carbonell showcased what it meant to be a goalkeeper against Quinnipiac.
“You want your keeper to make the big time save when it comes rather than the quantity of saves,” Hounsome said. “It’s the quality of the saves that she made when she had to make them that was critical.”
The Broncs travel home to Ben Cohen Field on Oct. 2 to host Niagara at 3:30 p.m. Rider hits the road again on Oct. 5 to take on Marist at 6 p.m.