Women’s soccer leads the charge in the fall sports preview

By Steven Eggert

Women’s Soccer

Drayson Hounsome and the Broncs have improved upon their hot start last year, opening the 4-0 for the first time ever in the program’s history. Senior Abi Cottam broke the Rider assist record in the Broncs’ second game of the season, setting up what could be another great year for Cottam. In the first week of play, senior goaltender Jenn Nichols won MAAC Defensive Player of the week, and freshman midfielder Tara Ballay was named the MAAC Rookie of the week after their recent performances.

Men’s Soccer

Charlie Inverso returns to the helm after a 4-13-2 season.  Nine of the team’s 13 losses were by a single goal. The Broncs’ returning seniors Dan Friga and Dave Benavidez scored eight goals last season on offense, while senior goalie Matt Perrella will lead the defense this season. Coach Inverso has also recruited 12 freshmen to the team.

Field Hockey

The Broncs’ success under Lori Hussong’s coaching looks to continue as they strive for a three-peat as NEC Champions. Last season, Rider finished 19-2 and tied as the best defensive team in the nation after allowing only 18 goals in 21 games. The Broncs will have large shoes to fill after the departure of key seniors, but returning junior Sandra Penas, who was the 2011 NEC offensive player of the year, and senior Marlaine Schneider, who each scored 49 points last season.

Volleyball

Chris Feliciano will look to improve on last season’s 5-25 record in his second season as the Broncs’ coach.  Feliciano recruited five freshmen to his team and lost one senior.  Sophomores Jaclyn Webber and Kayla Wong have a combined 100 kills in the team’s first six matches.

Cross Country

The 2011 MAAC Coach of the Year Bob Hamer has prepped the Broncs for another successful outdoor season. The men finished third in the MAAC while the women finished fourth. Hamer has also added 11 new faces to the teams this year.  Sophomore Anthony Dentino leads the men, while senior Megan Elgin leads the women.

Golf

Bob Whartenby enters his seventh season coaching after the Broncs finished eighth out of nine teams in the MAAC last season. Junior captain James Buttermark, who was statistically the team’s best golfer last season will be leading the way for the Broncs on the links.  Sophomores Cole Clark and Luke Liddell had solid outings last year and will look to continue.

Tennis

The men were 3-18 while the women were 5-13, and neither team won a game in the MAAC conference under Ed Torres.   Sophomore Steve Brand led the men with 6-11 record individually, and a 6-12 record in doubles matches. Sophomore Michelle Caravaglio had a 7-11 singles match record along with a 5-11 record in doubles matches.

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