Women's College Soccer
Broncs Announce 2012 Schedule
With the return of 10 starters from the team that had its best record in seven years, Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome is looking forward to the 2012 Rider University women's soccer season, as the schedule was announced today.
The Broncs begin the season with a pair of home night games, hosting the New Jersey Institute of Technology August 19 and Howard University August 24, both games beginning at 5pm on the Ben Cohen field.
The Broncs won at NJIT 2-0 last year and won at Howard 3-2 in overtime last season.
"We're developing rivalries with these teams, having played them the last few years," Hounsome said. "I think that creates more of a competitive bite to the games. We were fortunate to win those games last year. They will be a challenge this year but it is nice to begin at home to start the season."
Rider travels to Mount Saint Mary's August 26 before hosting Garden State rival Fairleigh Dickinson Labor Day weekend. "We felt we had the better of The Mount last year but lost, and we tied FDU in a game we played very well," Hounsome said.
The non-conference portion of the schedule is highlighted by a trip to Annapolis to take part in the Navy Invitational September 7-9, playing the host Midshipmen Friday night and George Washington University Sunday afternoon.
"We're playing two good teams there," Hounsome said. "We were there in 2009 with a young team so it will be fun to go back with a much stronger group. Last time we had 11 freshmen who are now going to be seniors. There should be a great crowd for the Friday night game."
The Broncs travel to cross-state rival Monmouth and down to Dover to take on Delaware State before beginning conference play.
Rider will host Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rivals Fairfield and Iona the last weekend of September and begins October at Manhattan and at Saint Peter's.
The Broncs host Loyola, Canisius and Niagara before traveling to Siena and complete the regular season at defending champion Marist. Rider defeated Marist 5-1 last season, the only conference loss for the Red Foxes.
"Three of the top four teams in last year's standings are coming here this year," Hounsome said of Fairfield, Loyola and Niagara, "so that is nice. Marist will probably be the preseason favorite."
Marist will host the four-team 2012 MAAC Championship tournament November 2-4, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Opening Round November 9.
"We have 11 seniors experiencing their last hurrah, with their last chance to take the program farther than it's ever been," Hounsome said. "It's exciting."
Weather permitting, all home women's soccer games will be streamed on BroncVision, the pay per view video stream of Rider Athletics.
Free livestats for all home games and most away contests will be available at GoBroncs.com.