College Field Hockey
Rider University 2, Villanova University 0
LAWRENCEVILLE--The Rider University field hockey team won its 2012 home opener at Ben Cohen Field, 2-0 over Villanova on Friday afternoon.
"We came out strong today and bounced back after a tough loss to Drexel," said head coach Lori Hussong, in her 13th season at Rider. "We came out ready to battle and our defensive effort and play in the midfield was outstanding."
Junior Alicia Govannicci (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) took a pass from sophomore Stacey Dileo (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Wade) and scored from in front of the cage, for her first goal of the season at 24:26 to break a scoreless tie.
"The game went well," Govannicci said who now has four game-winning goals in her career. "We did our best and worked well together. On my goal, Stacey gave me a great pass in front and I was able to get a good chance on goal and it went in."
Rider led 1-0 at intermission.
Freshman Allison Muschs (Linkebeek Belgium/Lycee Emile Jacqmain) scored her first of the season on a penalty stroke with 2:39 remaining in the game for the final score.
Freshman Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) recorded her first collegiate win and her first shutout, making one save.
"Joelle came back with a lot of confidence and worked extremely hard this past week after a rough opener," said assistant coach Dan Hussong who works with the goalies. "She showed the heart of a champion and was humbled by her first game. She bounced back very well. She was solid."
Rider (1-1) out-shot Villanova (2-1) 17-5.
Alex Diekmann made 10 saves for the Wildcats.
The Broncs held a 16-8 penalty corner advantage.
"We had some great opportunities," Lori Hussong said. "We just have to take better advantage of them. But overall, I was pleased with the effort."
Villanova began the 2012 field hockey season by winning the Colonial Classic, defeating host Robert Morris and Central Michigan. Last year Rider defeated the Wildcats 2-1 and owns an 8-6-1 advantage in the series history.
Rider opened with a 3-0 loss at Drexel on August 26.
"Even though we lost at Drexel, I thought the game was pretty even for about the first 40 minutes," said Lori Hussong. "We made some defensive mistakes that we cleaned up in practice and you saw a better effort from the back line in today's game."
Rider has never lost in its 18 games at Ben Cohen Field, the lighted turf complex which opened in the fall of 2010.
"We enjoy playing in front of the crowd and when we step on the field, we want to show what we can do," Lori Hussong added. "They want to be a team that people enjoy coming out to watch. Our fans, the parents and athletic administration really come out and support us and we want to do well in front of them."
The Broncs host Colgate at noon on Sunday.
"We're going to work on some things that we didn't do correctly today and continue to work hard as we prepare for Sunday," Govannicci added.