Broncs best Sacred Heart, fall to Lehigh

By Kadie Digiuseppe

RIDER field hockey split its two games over the weekend winning 2-1 over Sacred Heart on Oct.13, then losing to Lehigh 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 15. 

Friday night lights win

Under the glow of Ben Cohen field, the Broncs faced their divisional opponent: the Sacred Heart Pirates. 

The Broncs came out strong with a goal in the first two minutes by freshmen forward Willemijn Ephriam on the direct insert during their first corner of the game, making it her fifth goal of the season. 

Throughout the game, Rider was quick to defend the ball one-on-one with the Pirates off of free hits. 

“We’ve been working on staying a lot lower, playing more patient defense and communicating with each other so the people,” said Head Coach Alicia Govannicci. 

[The team has] been doing a good job of playing together instead of just individually.”

Rider’s chemistry was shining through all game long with the Broncs being able to communicate opportunities to double team and give and go to the goal.

Junior forward and captain Lyric Scott said, “Building team chemistry on and off the field has helped us and trusting our coach. It all just meshes together very well.”

On the second goal of the game, Ephriam’s shot was deflected by Sacred Heart’s goalie to give sophomore forward Valeria Perales a perfect hit into the cage, giving the Broncs a 2-0 lead at halftime. 

Rider, however, did let up one goal to Sacred Heart on a corner in the third quarter, but played strong defense all fourth quarter to secure the conference win. 

Rider ended with 16 offensive corners during the game. 

“Our offense has improved tremendously. One of our main goals is capitalizing and we’ve been improving on that in every practice, every game and working on our corners as well,” said senior forward Carli Ciocco. 

“We just keep working hard, keep pushing forward and we’re going to keep earning corners. We’re going to keep shooting and scoring,” Ciocco added.

Senior goalkeeper captain Carlee Fulton had two saves during the game. 

Broncs fall flat

The Broncs traveled to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 15 to play an-out-of-conference game against Lehigh.

The first quarter was back and forth between the two teams with both taking shots wide, on goal and getting corners. 

Lehigh broke through and scored the first goal of the game seven minutes into the second quarter, making the score 1-0 at halftime. 

For most of the second half, the match was back and forth again until two minutes left in regulation, Perales scored the first goal of the game for the Broncs assisted by senior midfielder Kiera Guckavan tying the tally at 1-1. 

The Lehigh offense dominated overtime with three corners and scored the winning goal to end the game in their favor.

Rider ended the game with five offensive corners and eight shots on goal.

Fulton had eight saves in the game, giving her 51 saves in the season. 

The Broncs are 6-8 on the season and travel to Connecticut to play a conference game against Fairfield on Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. 

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