By Aidan Brager
AFTER a 2-0 win against Fairfield, 5-1-2 Rider men’s soccer had all the momentum they could’ve asked for as the team traveled to Connecticut on Sept. 30 to face off against the 2-4-2 Quinnipiac Bobcats.
The game kicked off like many other Rider matches this year. Rider kept possession well and consistently put together creative and promising attacks on goal.
That was until the Bobcats were able to push the ball into the Broncs’ final third. A couple of quick passes and a right-footed strike from Quinnipiac ended in the back of the net, giving the Bobcats a 1-0 lead just 23 minutes into the game.
“We have a quote, ‘Be together, stay together.’ It’s all for those types of moments so when it doesn’t go our way we have the ability to face adversity,” said Head Coach Chad Duernberger.
And it showed. The Broncs kept up the pressure on the Bobcats defense and, after an errant pass from the Bobcats midfield back to their defenders, Rider’s Babacar Diene capitalized. He was able to intercept the pass and get a great shot on goal, which tied the game 1-1 just moments after Quinnipiac’s opening goal.
“I was really pleased with the guys to find a way to stay together on the road and get a goal in the first half to bring it back 1-1,” said Duernberger.
The game continued with Rider keeping possession and efficiently creating chances to get shots. The game would stay 1-1 through the final whistle as the game ended in a draw.
The Broncs, who had 17 total shots, almost doubled the Bobcats in shots, although just 5 were on target.
On the Broncs’ high shot number but low goal number, Duernberger said, “Statistically, I think it does show a lot of shots but I wouldn’t say those shots were all dangerous enough to score goals.”
Duernberger went on to say the Broncs will use the next week to focus on how they could turn those opportunities into goals.
“We’ll look at the chances and look if we could’ve made one more pass or find one more open player in the final third that will help create a more dangerous chance for us,’’ said Duernberger.
With the draw, the Broncs have extended their undefeated streak to over a month since losing their season opener to Seton Hall, 1-0 on Aug. 24.
Despite this hot streak Rider has been on, Duernberger didn’t celebrate prematurely.
“We’ve just taken it game by game. (We’ve) not looked ahead or behind us and just stayed focused on whatever the next task at hand is,” said Duernberger.
Rider will attempt to continue their streak when they travel to New York to take on the Manhattan Jaspers who currently sit in first place in the MAAC standings. The game will get occur on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m and can also be seen on ESPN+.