By Rob Rose
For the second season in a row, the women’s soccer team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament. Rider lost to Quinnipiac, 3-1, on Oct. 28.
Rider began the tournament with a 3-1 win against 11th-seeded St. Peter’s in the opening game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The Broncs beat the Peacocks, 3-0, in their only match during the regular season.
Sophomore midfielder Valeria Pascuet scored her first goal of the season in the 28th minute, finishing the rebound off a shot by junior forward Kourtney Cunningham. Pascuet earned All-MAAC Second Team honors this season.
Senior forward Ellie Smith finished a pass from sophomore midfielder Erica Ludwikowski, Smith’s fourth goal of the season. Smith finishes her career ranked seventh all-time in points scored for Rider with 55 and was awarded All-MAAC First Team for the second consecutive season.
Junior center back Meghan McCabe scored on a free kick by senior center back Emily Schmitt moments into the second half. The goal was McCabe’s second of the season.
The Peacocks got on the board in the 86th minute after a goal by Brooke Trotta, but their late effort wasn’t enough; the Broncs won 3-1.
The following day, Rider battled third-seeded Quinnipiac in a rematch after a tie during its regular season match.
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a goal by Nadya Gill.
The Broncs scored the equalizer in the 37th minute, with freshman midfielder Cameron Santers’ first goal of the season. Santers is the eighth Bronc to score a goal this season.
Quinnipiac would score twice in the second half, winning the game 3-1.
Senior forward Michelle Iacono finished the season third in total points (23), third in total goals (eight), third in total assists (seven) and first in shots per game (4.19) and shots on goal per game (2.38) in the MAAC and and earned All-MAAC First Team honors.
“Our seniors ended their collegiate careers, but have left the program in a stronger position than when they arrived,” said Head Coach Drayson Hounsome. “They gave everything they had to Rider University.”
Iacono leaves Rider ranked sixth all-time in points scored with 56.
Cunningham and McCabe will become two of the senior leaders for Rider next season after strong junior years.
Freshman goalkeeper Carmen Carbonell will be a player to watch next season after finishing fifth in goals against average (0.999) and sixth in save percentage (0.795) in the MAAC. Carbonell was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team.
Monmouth and Manhattan will meet in the MAAC Tournament final on Nov. 1. Top-seed Monmouth defeated No. 4 seed Siena, 3-1. No. 2 seed Manhattan beat Quinnipiac, 3-2.