LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Freshman Sarah Gellert (Severna Park, MD/Severna Park) and graduate student Emily Curteis (Llanfyllin, Wales, England/Liverpool John Moores) scored for the Broncs as the Rider University women’s soccer team played Canisius to a 2-2 draw Saturday afternoon on Ben Cohen Field. With the tie, the Broncs (8-5-3, 4-3-2 MAAC) clinched a MAAC Tournament berth. The Griffs are now 4-7-5 (1-4-4 MAAC).
Gellert opened the scoring in the eighth minute off a Valeria Pascuet (Bunuel, Navarra, Spain/San Fermin Ikastola) corner kick. The corner went near the top of the 18-yard box and was headed down by Sam Picinich (North Bellmore, NY/Mepham) to Gellert at the left post. Gellert finished from close range. The Griffs responded in the 22nd minute, as Magdalen Canitia scored on a give-and-go on the left sideline. Canitia’s throw in found Hope Balling, who sent it back to Canitia near the sideline. Canitia’s high-arcing shot to the far post evaded Rider goalkeeper Carmen Carbonell (Valencia, Spain/Guadalaviar School) into the side netting to tie the game.
With just over 17 minutes remaining in regulation, the Broncs retook a 2-1 lead on a give-and-go between Curteis and Kourtney Cunningham (Whitehall, PA/Whitehall). Curteis passed to Cunningham, who led Curteis into the box for a 1-v-1 opportunity against Canisius goalkeeper Alana Rossi. Curteis finished past the charging Rossi at the 72:58 mark.
But the Griffs would equalize with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. A 50-50 ball in the Broncs’ defensive third took a strong deflection toward goal and found Shauna Lee in stride in the box. Carbonell came out to challenge, but couldn’t stop Lee’s shot and the equalizer at 87:44.
Quotes and Notes
“Our expectations are such that we expect to be in (the MAAC Tournament). We probably should get excited for getting in the playoffs, but that’s our expectation, so it’s not. There’s more disappointment that we didn’t win the game. So, to make the playoffs again is obviously a good accomplishments. But we’re more disappointed on the outcome of the game that we didn’t win it today.”
“We’re got a lot of people out with injuries. Last game banged us up a lot. So, we were down five or six starters today. People had to step up and they did great. That’s kind of what you need in your squad of 23. You need people to step up when they’re called upon. So, really good to see the depth of the squad today.”
“It’s an unusual senior class. We’ve got a fifth-year senior in that group and we’ve got a third-year junior in that group who’s graduating early. And obviously we’ve got the group that came in as freshmen and this officially their fourth year. But it’s been great. The first year they came in as freshmen and we lost in the semifinals. They made the quarterfinals the following year, the quarterfinals last year, now they’re in the playoffs again this year. So that’s just kind of what we expect now. They’ve given a massive contribution to the program, as was announced before the game – all the awards accolades that they’ve won. We’ll definitely miss having them next season.” - Rider Head Coach Drayson Hounsome
- Rider maintains its slim lead in the all-time series with Canisius at 11-10-2. The Broncs had won the prior two meetings and are 3-1-1 in the last five.
- Rider is now 4-1-1 when scoring first.
- A Bronc scored her first-career goal for the second-straight game. Gellert followed Ashlyn Johnson (Santa Clarita, CA/Valencia) first-career tally on Wednesday against Quinnipiac.
- With one game left on the league slate, five teams have punched their tickets to the MAAC Tournament – Monmouth (24 points), Marist (19), Siena (17), Niagara (17) and Rider (14). Quinnipiac (12) has the inside track on the final berth, with Saint Peter’s (9) still alive. The Peacocks need a win over Rider on Wednesday and a Quinnipiac loss at Manhattan to clip the Bobcats for the final bid. Saint Peter’s has the head-to-head tie-breaker with Quinnipiac on the strength of a 1-0 win in Hamden on Oct. 3.
- Rider will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the MAAC Tournament and take to the road to begin the playoffs. Even with a win on Wednesday at Saint Peter’s, the best the Broncs could do is tie Siena and Niagara in the standings. With losses to both the Saints and Purple Eagles, the Broncs fall short in all tie-breaker scenarios for the No. 3 or 4 seed and a would-be quarterfinal home game.
- Rider has now qualified for the MAAC Tournament in each of the last six years.
Broncs By The Numbers
- Cunningham’s assist gives her 15 for her career, tying her with Casey Fagan for fifth all-time in program history. The point pushed her career total to 55, tying her with former teammate Ellie Smith for seventh at Rider. She now stands just one point behind another former teammate, Michelle Iacono, for sixth.
- Pascuet’s assist gives her a team-leading six on the season. She’s now increased her assist total in each of her three years with three as a freshman, four last season and now six in her junior season. Her 13 career assists in less than three years are already tied for 10th in program history with Jennifer Meier and Sarah Artale.
- Picinich now has five assists and nine points on the year, both single-season career highs.
- Curteis’ goal was her second of the season.
- Carbonell made four saves.
- Rider outshot Canisius, 16-12, for the game and 10-6 in shots on goal.
- Canisius took seven corner kicks to the Broncs’ two.