Broncs lose heartbreaker against Lock Haven

By Logan VanDine

Looking to bounce back after a shutout loss to La Salle, the Rider field hockey team headed to Lock Haven to take on the Eagles. After striking first with the lead, the Eagles had other ideas as they took down the Broncs and scored the winning goal in the waning seconds of the game taking it 3-2 on Sept. 18.

The Broncs, who could not get on the scoreboard in their last game, needed to strike first on the road and did just that.

The Broncs opened the scoring just three minutes into the game thanks to sophomore midfielder Abby Hartwell, notching her second goal of the season giving Rider an early 1-0 lead.

After Lock Haven tied the game heading into halftime, the Eagles striked first taking a 2-1 lead early in the third quarter as the score remained that way until the end of the quarter.

With a second straight loss glaring for the Broncs, they finally came through when freshman midfielder Indy Zoontjens scored her first career goal and tied the game at two with under 10 minutes to play.

“I was happy I finally scored a goal, especially because it was the equalizer at that point. I was always so close to scoring a goal, and now I finally scored one,” said Zoontjens on scoring her first career goal.

Overtime seemed imminent with the teams locked in a 2-2 tie, but the Eagles had other plans. As the final seconds ticked away, Lock Haven scored the winning goal to take the game 3-2.

“That was a tough way to lose the game as we worked so hard and deserved a better outcome. Everyone played with energy and played good team ball for the majority of the game, especially in the

fourth quarter,” Head Coach Lori Hussong said. “If we can learn to play more to our strengths and do a better job recognizing when to pass and when to hold onto the ball during the more critical times of the game, we will have a better outcome.”

Zoontjens also gave her input on how she thought her team played against an undefeated team like Lock Haven.

“I think we did a really great job today. We created a lot of opportunities to score and we had good energy. A few mistakes made us lose,” she said.

On Sept. 20, Zoontjens was awarded NEC Rookie of the Week for her performance at Lock Haven.

The Broncs now sit at 3-3 on the year and despite back-to-back losses, Hussong is not pressing the panic button yet.

“We are young and we know it’s going to take time to gain the experience needed to contend for a conference playoff berth and we are more than confident that we will learn from our mistakes and make the changes necessary to succeed,” Hussong said.

The Broncs will have to turn things around quickly as their next matchup will be at Drexel on Sept.
23 and then two days later against Georgetown in Washington D.C. on Sept. 25.

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