College Field Hockey
2012 Rider Schedule Announced
LAWRENCEVILLE--The two-time defending Northeast Conference champion Rider University field hockey team will open its 2012 schedule on August 26 in Philadelphia against Drexel and the home opener will take place at 4pm on August 31 at Ben Cohen Field against Villanova head coach Lori Hussong announced.
"This year's schedule is going to be extremely challenging," said Hussong who is in her 13th season at Rider. "This difficult slate of games should prepare us well for conference play."
After hosting Colgate on September 2 at noon, the Broncs hit the road for five straight games, Lafayette (September 7), Hofstra (September 9), Pennsylvania (September 12), La Salle (September 15) and UC Davis, which will be played in Hempstead, New York (at Hofstra) on September 17.
Rider closes out September with two straight home games, against former Northeast Conference rival Lock Haven on September 22 and the Lehigh Mountain Hawks are scheduled to visit Lawrenceville on September 30.
The Broncs close out the non-conference portion of the schedule with a trip to New York to face Columbia on October 3.
Winners of 23 Northeast Conference regular season games in a row, the Broncs open conference play at Robert Morris on October 7 with the first NEC home game on October 19 at 4pm against Siena.
Rider also hosts NEC games against Bryant (October 21), Saint Francis (Pa.) October 26 and a visit by cross-state rival Monmouth on October 28 closes out the regular season.
Rider defeated the Hawks in West Long Branch during the 2011 regular season (3-2) and won the 2011 NEC Title Game over Monmouth in Lawrenceville, by a 2-1 score.
The game against Bryant will be the annual Play 4 The Cure game to raise awareness and donations in the fight against breast cancer and prior to the game against Monmouth, Rider will honor its four graduating seniors, Jackie Adams, Gabby Burgo, Ellie LaBar and Marlaine Schneider.
The top four teams qualify for the NEC playoffs November 2-3 with the top seed serving as host.
Hussong enters the season with a 169-71 record with Rider looking to qualify for the NEC playoffs for the 13th year in a row, all under Hussong.
The Broncs have won five NEC championships (2000, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011) and six NEC regular season titles under Hussong (2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011).
"Our conference continues to improve and get better," Hussong said. "This year will be more exciting than ever. Every game will be a dog fight to the end and we are looking forward to seeing how this year's team responds to the challenge."
Rider returns 14 letterwinners but the Broncs begin 2012 without all-time leading scorer Virginia Egusquiza and goalie Rebecca Lotito who led the nation in goals against average as both were among six seniors that graduated this past spring.
The Broncs are coming off a 19-2 season in 2011 that ended with a double overtime loss at Princeton in the NCAA-Play In game.
Weather permitting, all eight home field hockey games will be streamed on BroncVision, the pay per view video stream of Rider Athletics.
GameWatcher (LiveStats) will also be available for free on the website for all home games and most away contests.