Rider 2, Iona 1
Women’s College Soccer
Rider University 2, Iona College 1
NEW ROCHELLE, NY— There is an expression in soccer. “Goals follow goals.”
“I’m not sure where that expression originated from but it was clearly evident today,” said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome.
After 55 minutes of scoreless action, Iona broke the seal with a goal. The Rider Broncs followed with two goals in the next five minutes. “We were able to respond after giving up a goal,” Hounsome said. “Once a team goes down the other team has to respond, and that is what we kind of did today.”
The Broncs clinched a playoff spot with a come-from-behind Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win at Iona Wednesday afternoon. “It wasn’t pretty at times but it was a very good win on the road,” Hounsome said. “That gives us 19 points. Last year we finished with 19 points and tied for third place.”
Rider junior Ellie Smith (Norwich, England/Norwich City) scored in the 63rd minute to give Rider a 2-1 lead. Smith scored her team-high eighth goal of the season on assists from senior Victoria Maley (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and sophomore Kourtney Cunningham (Whitehall, PA/Whitehall).
The goal was the 15th of her career and her 46th career point. The 46 points by Smith is now sixth most ever at Rider.
Rider senior Hollie Kelsh (Lancashire, England/Sandbach) scored in the 60th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. “Hollie looked sharp, was playing well and got her first goal of the season,” Hounsome said. “It was one of her better performances of the season.”
Iona (1-13-2, 1-6-1 MAAC) scored in the 56th minute of play to take a 1-0 lead. “Iona came in with nothing to lose,” Hounsome said. “They have a young team and with a new coach they played with a lot of energy. They played with a lot of spirit and I give them credit for that.”
Rider (9-4-3, 6-2-1 MAAC) out-shot Iona 15-13, including 8-4 in shots on goal.
Rider senior goalkeeper Bethany-May Howard (Glastonbury, England/Bridgwater College) made three saves for her 34th career win, a Rider record. “Beth didn’t have a whole lot to do,” Hounsome said. “They scored a really good goal, no fault to her. The 34 wins is another great achievement for her, one of many.”
The Broncs beat Iona by the score of 2-0 the last two years. Rider and Iona have now met 20 times with the Broncs holding a 12-6-2 advantage.
The last time Iona defeated Rider was during the 2012 season, a 1-0 decision.
Rider plays at Fairfield Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale. “Hopefully we can get another win,” Hounsome said. “We are trying to get the second seed, but we are just looking for a good performance and finding a way to win.”