LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – Five different Broncs scored in the Rider University men’s soccer team’s 5-0 win over Siena in the regular season home finale Saturday afternoon on Ben Cohen Field. Seniors Santiago Garcia Castro (Philadelphia, PA/Prep Charter) and Mike Wherley (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) scored their first career goals, while Pablo DeCastro (Madrid, Spain/Universidad Francisco de Vittoria), Arthur Herpreck (Brest France/West Brittany) and Elliott Otmani (La Ciotat, France/Bonaparte) also scored for the Broncs 6-9-1 (5-4-0 MAAC). The Saints slip to 4-10-3 (3-6-0 MAAC) with the loss.
The Broncs struck first on Herpreck’s goal with 11 seconds left in the first half. Rider was awarded a free kick in the Saints’ defensive third and Otmani lofted it to Coco at the left post. Coco headed it down to Herpreck to shoot into the vacated right side of the net.
Rider then erupted for four more goals in the second half. Herpreck’s free kick from the Broncs’ defensive third was headed on, first by Taner Bay (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas), then Clement Bourret (Orleans, France/Lycee Jean Giraudoux) to DeCastro, who rocketed a shot from right to left past Siena keeper Greg Monroe inside the left post less than two minutes into the second half. In the 69th minute, Castro and Otmani passed back and forth in the midfield before Castro lofted a shot from 25 yards over Monroe’s head and into the net to make it 3-0.
The Broncs were awarded a penalty kick in the 72nd minute that Otmani converted to push the lead to 4-0. Wherley capped the scoring in the 86th minute. Castro’s free kick from midfield was headed out of the box by a Siena defender. But Wherley streaked in to shoot inside the right post for Rider’s fifth goal.
Quotes and Notes
“We showed up today. It’s crazy because even the game that we’ve pieced together some really good soccer, we haven’t been able to sustain it for long stretches. Today we did. We stayed patient. Now we’ve got to win and see what happens. But if we win, I feel confident in this team. They feel confident in each other. It’s just been a tough year.”
“Wherley is the epitome of the kind of guy you want in your program. He works as hard as anybody. He will do anything for his teammates and that’s why you saw the guys went crazy. Really, really special to see him score. He’s a great kid.” – Rider Head Coach Charlie Inverso
- Rider cut Siena’s slim lead in the all-time series to 11-10-5. The Broncs had been unbeaten in five-straight (4-0-1) against Siena prior to a 2-1 loss last Oct. 18 in Loudonville.
- The Broncs (15 points) eliminated both Siena (9 points) and Canisius (7 points) from the MAAC Championship picture with the win, leaving seven teams for six spots. Fairfield (23 points), Quinnipiac (19 points) and Iona (19 points) have clinched berths as of 5 p.m. Saturday. Marist (17 points), Saint Peter’s (16 points), Rider (15 points) and Manhattan (12 points) remain in play for the final three bids. The following games carry importance to the final MAAC standings:
Oct. 27 – Canisius at Manhattan – 6 p.m.
Oct. 27 – Quinnipiac at Marist – 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Monmouth at Quinnipiac – 1 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Saint Peter’s at Siena – 2 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Niagara at Marist – 2 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Rider at Canisius – 4 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Manhattan at Fairfield – 7 p.m.
Broncs By The Numbers
- DeCastro briefly tied Otmani for the team lead with his fifth goal of the year in the 47th minute before Otmani scored his sixth in the 72nd minute. Otmani now has a team-high six goals, seven assists and 19 points on the year.
- Otmani has scored a goal in four of the Broncs’ five league wins and has a point in all five. For his career, he now has 29 goals, 19 assists and 77 points. He now ranks in the top 10 in program history in both goals and assists, with only seven Broncs having scored 30 goals and only eight distributing 20 assists. Only Craig Wicken ’99 (49 goals, 24 assists) and Bobby Smith ’73 (46 goals, 20 assists) have achieved both 30 goals and 20 assists in Rider men’s soccer history.
- Castro scored his first career goal in his 40th game played, while Wherley scored on his first-career shot in his sixth game played.
- Rider took 12 shots to the Saints’ five, including a 6-1 advantage in shots on goal.
- Rider took two corner kicks. Siena did not attempt a corner.