By Richard Saile
ON a rainy, windy night in Fairfield, Connecticut, on Sept. 24, Rider women’s soccer lost a close match to the Stags 2-1 and dropped to 1-2-0 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
For the majority of the first half, the ball was possessed by the Stags, but the defense held its own thanks to the reigning MAAC defensive player of the week, senior goalkeeper Ellie Sciancalepore who had seven saves in the first half.
Sciancalepore had nine saves on that night, which was the second-highest total she’s had all season, behind her 12 saves in a game against Albany on Aug. 31.
Sciancalepore currently ranks first in the MAAC in save percentage with a mark of 83.3% and her goals-against average of 1.00 is the lowest of her Rider career.
The Broncs did not have a lot of opportunities offensively in the first half with only one shot on goal, with the lone shot coming from senior midfielder Hannah Freeman.
The pressure may have bothered the Broncs in the first half as they were outshot 13-1 by halftime. The second half started to see more action happen as the Stags came out five minutes in with the first goal of the game to give Fairfield a 1-0 lead. The offense got some more opportunities to start the second half but weren’t able to capitalize.
The Broncs finally capitalized as Rider was able to respond with a tying goal from junior forward Logan Racine to tie the game at 1-1 in the 73rd minute. She scored off a huge cross toward the top of the box thanks to an assist from midfield sophomore Leonor Alves. It was Racine’s second goal of the year which tied her for the team lead.
In the end, a quick response by Fairfield’s Reagan Klarman scored the winning goal for Fairfield off a deflection and an assist by Maddy Theriault to give the Stags back the lead 2-1 with 12 minutes remaining.
Head Coach Drayson Hounsome said, “[It] was disappointing to concede the goals we did, but we had some excellent performances in the game. Happy to see Logan [Racine] come on and have an impact moment like she did, and see the team respond to going down early in the first half. We’ll look to bounce back next week.”
Rider struggled to get anything going offensively, as it only totaled seven shots and three shots on goal in the one-score effort.
The Broncs ended the game being outshot 26-7, their largest differential in three games against MAAC opponents. In total, Rider has been outshot 62-20 with two goals in conference play.
The Broncs now drop to 3-5-1 on the season, losing four of their last six contests. They are also yet to win back-to-back games this year.
Eyeing a bounce-back win, Rider returns home on Sept. 30 to host Quinnipiac at 1 p.m.
The game will be streamed on BroncVision.