By Benjamin Shinault
AFTER an opening-round defeat by the hands of the Canisius Golden Eagles last season, Rider women’s soccer wanted redemption.
The Broncs started their fresh 2023 campaign with a 2-3-1 record with a win against the Wagner Seahawks 1-0 back on Aug. 18, and their most recent win against the Delaware State Hornets on Sept. 3.
Outside of these two wins, the Broncs were scoreless during the young season.
The Broncs’ three losses and tie came at the hands of Long Island, Temple, Seton Hall and Albany. For all those matches, the Broncs were shutout.
In the match against Albany, Rider struggled with keeping the ball in their offensive zone, as they finished the match with only three shots on goal and seven in total while they allowed the Albany Great Danes to score three times and get 15 shots in the second half alone.
After the Albany loss, Head Coach Drayson Hounsome broke down what he told his team after yet another shutout loss.
“Goals determine the game and influence the game and so in that first period, if we can take advantage of some of our offensive opportunities we had, that completely changes the game,” said Hounsome.
It wasn’t going to be easy to snap the scoreless streak, as the Broncs were playing in tough weather conditions in a mid-day match with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It took Rider until the second half to get the ball rolling offensively when sophomore midfielder Margret Fridricksson sailed one right past the diving hands of the Hornets goaltender to give her team the first goal of the match.
Less than 15 minutes later, the Broncs scored once more thanks to junior forward Logan Racine making the score 2-0 half way through the second half.
The women’s soccer team poured it on again as senior midfielder Hannah Freeman scored a goal as well, putting the Broncs up 3-0, showing Delaware State little to no mercy in the blistering heat.
“My legs are shot, but even though it’s hot for us, it’s hot for them too,” said Freeman. “At the end of the day we had to work harder than them.”
Hounsome preached about what Freeman is capable of. “When she’s on her game she’s as good as an attacking midfielder that we have,” Hounsome said. “She really looked to attack today and that led to two quality goals.”
The Hornets finally put one in the net in the 72nd minute just out of the reach of Broncs senior goaltender Ellie Sciancalepore.
The 4-1 win against Delaware State finally brought the dreadful scoreless streak to a halt. “It was great to see us get on the scoresheet very early in the second half and I think that took a little weight off their shoulders,” Hounsome said.
The Broncs match against Delaware State was their final out-of-conference match for the season, and they now head into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play.
“[The]expectation is to make the conference playoffs and then compete for a conference championship,” Hounsome said.
Rider will take on the Marist Red Foxes at Ben Cohen Field on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., hoping to build upon its past victory.