Women's College Soccer
U.S. Naval Academy 3, Rider University 0
ANNAPOLIS, MD--The Broncs lost for the first time this season to the host Midshipmen in the first round of the Navy Invitational Friday night. "I thought we played okay," said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. "We battled hard. It was a good game. Navy is one of the strongest teams we've seen, ever."
Navy took a 1-0 lead 20 minutes into the game. It marked the first time Rider has trailed in a game all season.
The Mids stole the ball and scored again just three minutes later to take a 2-0 lead.
"In a ten minute spell we made a couple of errors, made some mistakes and they scored two goals," Hounsome said. "If we don't have that 10 minute lapse we're in the game and it is a different story."
With Rider on an all-out offensive attack Navy scored with less than three minutes left in the game for a 3-0 lead. "Trailing by two we pushed forward with just three in the back and they scored on a counter attack," Hounsome said.
Navy (5-1) out-shot Rider (4-1) 25-10, including 14-5 shots on goal. "We competed and created some chances," Hounsome said.
Rider senior goalkeeper Jenn Nichols (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) made a career-high 11 saves. "Jenn had her best performance as a Rider Bronc tonight," Hounsome said. "She was brilliant. She made some excellent saves, especially when we were pushing forward after trailing 2-0. She denied them on several occasions."
Rider senior Abi Cottam (Leominster, England/Ludlow) had five of the 10 Bronc shots. "Abi caused them a lot of problems," Hounsome said.
Rider has now played Navy five times and is 0-4-1 against the Mids. "Navy is very good," Hounsome said. "They are very athletic and have a massive squad. They subbed a lot and they had three different players marking Abi, who played all 90 minutes."
Rider takes on George Washington University at Navy Sunday afternoon. "Another tough team," Hounsome said, "but this is what we want. We want to play these tough teams, and now we get to see how we respond to adversity."