The Canisius College women’s soccer team improved to 1-1-0 in MAAC play with its 2-1 victory over Rider on Wednesday afternoon.
After missing the past three games due to injury, senior midfielder Kelly McMahon didn’t take long to get herself involved in the scoring. When senior forward Brianna Smith was taken down in the box, the Griffs were awarded a penalty kick, which McMahon buried into the bottom right corner, giving the Griffs a 1-0 lead.
“I was glad to hear my name called to take that kick,” McMahon said. “I needed that to get back into it offensively.”
Canisius got on the board again in the 40th minute, when McMahon chipped a ball over the heads of a pair of Rider defenders for junior forward Mallory Illsley. Illsley’s first shot was deflected by Rider goalkeeper Bethany-May Howard, but Illsley stuck with the rebound and finished the eventual game-winning goal.
“I thought the first half was our best half all season,” said head coach Jim Wendling. “We won most fifty-fifty balls and were able to get those two first half goals, so I thought it was great.”
The Broncs were able to find the back of the net in the 69th minute. Forward Jennifer Meier took a shot from 20 yards that ricocheted off the crossbar and past senior goalkeeper Megan Tock for Rider’s lone goal.
Tock finished the contest with five saves.
“I thought our defense was tough today,” Wendling said. “We won fifty-fifty battles and stayed organized.”
Next, the Griffs will head to New Jersey to take on new MAAC member Monmouth for the first time in conference play. Kickoff will be on Saturday at 1 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Illsley and McMahon each have three goals this season. They combined for two goals in 76 games prior to the 2013 campaign… The victory gives the Griffs a winning record against the Broncs, making them 9-8-1 against the program… The Griffs are outscoring their opponents 9-8 in first halves this season.