By David Pavlak
Maybe there is something in the water recently, but select teams representing Rider athletics have certainly been struggling lately.
The most obvious of these offenders is the men’s soccer team, which is not only struggling to secure its first victory, but also an identity as a contender in the MAAC as well.
The men opened with a 2-0 loss at the hands of Monmouth. The Broncs followed that performance with a 2-1 overtime loss to Seton Hall, a team they defeated in the opening game of the season last year. The losing trend continued for the team until it ultimately found itself in a deep hole — a 0-7 record, to be exact.
You can call it a rebuilding year if you’d like since a dozen of the players on the roster are freshmen, but there are also more than a handful of upperclassmen that should have balanced this team out by now. The worst loss came this past weekend when the men lost 7-2 at the hands of the University of Pennsylvania. I’d be surprised to see the team turn it around in time for the game against Temple tomorrow. Might as well chalk up a 0-8 record now. One promising item left for the Broncs is that conference play starts soon for them, and their out-of-conference record will have no reprecussion for them at that time.
The volleyball team has also fallen into a bit of a lull as of late, losing five straight games to drop its record to under .500 for the first time all year. Through August and into early September the women were able to walk away with four victories. Keep in mind they were only able to secure five victories all last season.
The Broncs are currently 6-7 overall, but 0-4 in MAAC play. The comments made by players after the loss to Manhattan on Wednesday definitely raise eyebrows as well as red flags within the program. When teammates can openly admit that they watched each other quit in the middle of the game, there is a problem.
The women will play their next four games at home over the next two weekends, hopefully looking to see improvement and more of an overall team effort on the floor to continue to boost one of their best seasons since 2008-09.
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