Women's College Soccer
Rider University 2, Fairleigh Dickinson 1
LAWRENCEVILLE--The Broncs are 4-0 for the first time in program history, defeating Fairleigh Dickinson University in a steady rain Sunday afternoon. "The important thing is that we are finding ways to win," said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. "Each of the games has been challenging and different. We have not seen two teams that are similar."
Senior Claire Thompson (East Greenwich, R.I./E. Greenwich) scored on a header with 2:36 remaining in the second half for the game winner. The goal came off a corner kick and a header pass from freshman Tara Ballay (Delran, NJ/Delran).
"You want to come out in the second half and see a difference and we did that today, so that was great," Hounsome said. "FDU is tough the way they play."
"It was a really nice ball in off of the corner," said Thompson, "the ball bounced around off of a few heads. It actually came from me to Tara and back to me and I was able to get a little touch on it."
The goal by Thompson was the ninth of her career, 14th most ever at Rider. It also gives her 21 career points, 15th most ever at Rider.
"I didn't actually know that, so that's a nice surprise," Thompson said. "The only goals I really set for myself was to be the best I can be every day."
"I didn't know that about Claire either," Hounsome said, "but it doesn't surprise me. Our senior class is just a great group."
Rider (3-0) took a 1-0 lead 1:34 into the second half on a goal by junior Jody Sokol (Bensalem, PA/Bensalem). Sokol took a crossing pass from senior Abi Cottam (Leominster, England/Ludlow) and hit a 15-yard blast into the back of the net. The goal was the ninth of Sokol's career.
FDU (1-2-3) tied the score at 1-1 with just 5:57 left in the second half with a header off of a corner kick.
Both teams had 11 shots.
Rider senior goalkeeper Jenn Nichols (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) made six saves.
Sage Dovale made four saves in the FDU goal.
Rider and FDU tied 0-0 last year in Teaneck. Rider defeated FDU 2-0 in Lawrenceville in 2010, after losing 3-0 at FDU in 2009.
Rider leads the all-time series 4-1-1.
Rider travels to Annapolis to take on host Navy Friday night and George Washington Sunday afternoon in the Navy Invitational September 7-9.
"I'm excited for this weekend," Thompson said. "I think the competition is going to be really good."
"The senior class were freshmen the last time we went to this tournament and we lost both games," Hounsome said, "one of the losses coming to FDU. It will be good to see how far we've come since then."