Men's College Soccer
Monmouth University 2, Rider University 0
LAWRENCEVILLE-The Broncs fell to nationally ranked Monmouth in the 2012 season opener Friday night. "Monmouth is a really good team, obviously" said Rider head coach Charlie Inverso. "They are going to be a top 20 team very soon."
Monmouth (3-0) scored in the 36th minute to take a 1-0 lead on a header in the goal mouth. The Hawks made it 2-0 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the second half on another header off of a corner kick.
"We suffered a couple of lapses, one on a corner and one on a second ball," Inverso said of the two goals. "Other than that I thought we played well."
Rider (0-1) out-shot Monmouth 5-4 in the first half but the Hawks held an 11-9 advantage in shots for the game. "I thought we played fine," Inverso said. "I was proud of our effort. Our possession was much better."
Rider senior goalkeeper Matt Perrella (North Brunswick, N.J./N. Brunswick) made six saves, while Hawk keeper Alex Blackburn made just one save for the shutout.
"I thought Perrella was solid tonight," Inverso said. "He handled himself well, very steady."
Monmouth had six corner kicks to Rider's four
Rider last played Monmouth during the 2008 season, losing 2-0 in West Long Branch to the third ranked team in the Region.
Last season the Hawks advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, losing 2-1 to UConn to finish the season 14-6-2. "That is what we want to do, schedule teams that make the NCAA tournament," Inverso said. "It is a great experience for our players."
Rider last defeated the Hawks in 1998. Rider is 6-13-2 in the 21 meetings with Monmouth.
"We have a ways to go," Inverso said, "but we are way ahead of where we were last year at this time."
Rider travels to Seton Hall Labor Day for a 7pm game Monday. Rider upset Seton Hall 1-0 in the 2011 season opener. "We caught them last year," Inverso said, "but I'm sure they will be ready for us this year."