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College Field Hockey
Lock Haven Visits Rider Saturday
LAWRENCEVILLE--Saturday at high noon at Ben Cohen Field on the Rider University campus. The event: Rider vs. Lock Haven.
When former Northeast Conference rivals Rider and Lock Haven University would meet in field hockey, it was always one of 'those games'. An instant classic; a game that decided home field advantage for the playoffs or a championship game that decided a conference crown. A one-goal contest, usually involving overtime. By all measures, it was a game to circle on the calendar when the schedule came out.
And it still is.
For only the second time since Lock Haven went to the Atlantic 10 after the 2009 season, the Broncs (6-1) and the Lady Eagles (6-3) will meet, with seemingly much less on the line, unless you ask the players and coaches.
"Anytime we play Lock Haven, I know it will be one of the hardest games of the season," head coach Lori Hussong said after last year's game, a 3-2 come from behind win for the Broncs on the Lady Eagle's home field.
"We are going to have to come out intense," said senior tri-captain Marlaine Schneider (Feasterville, Pa./Neshaminy) who had a goal and an assist in the game in 2011. "We won last year and we have the confidence that we can be successful again. They are a strong team and it will be a good game. Most definitely, we still circle the game against Lock Haven on the calendar."
For those who wish a walk down memory lane, Lock Haven was the 2004 NEC regular season champion with Rider claiming the '04 tournament title. In 2005, Rider and Lock Haven shared the regular season crown.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008, the Lady Eagles won both the NEC regular season title and conference tournament, defeating Rider in the semifinals in '06 and in the championship game in '07 and '08.
In 2009, Lock Haven again won the NEC title after regular season champion Rider was upset in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
"Lock Haven has always been an intense and competitive game," Hussong said. "Anytime we play them, we know going into the game that we will have to fight tooth and nail down to the very last second of the game. We expect the same this year."
On Saturday at Ben Cohen Field, where Rider has won 19 games in a row, this will be a non-conference match-up in name only and area field hockey fans couldn't be happier. The teams have combined for 107 wins (Rider 58, Lock Haven 49) since the 2009 season.
The teams have met 10 times with Rider winning three, including two in a row, a 3-2 win at Lock Haven on September 25, 2011 and a November 1, 2009 contest when the Broncs won the NEC regular season title with a 1-0 double overtime win that was played in Princeton.
This season, Rider enters the contest on a six-game winning streak after a season opening loss at Drexel. The Broncs have won two straight overtime games, including a come from behind 2-1 victory over UC Davis on Monday.
Junior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain) leads the Broncs with five goals and an assist, having hit the back of the cage in three straight games. The 2011 NEC Offensive Player of the Year and 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year is ninth in career scoring at Rider.
Penas was the NEC Co-Player of the Week for all games September 10-16.
The Broncs have been led in goal by freshman Alicia Carthan (Bordentown) who owns a 0.70 goals against average and is undefeated in four starts, including two shutout victories. Carthan was named the NEC Rookie of the Week for all games September 10-16.
Lock Haven has won two straight and the Lady Eagles have wins over Longwood, Cornell, Robert Morris, Kent State, Vermont and Colgate this season.
For those unable to make the game, free livestats (GameTracker) will be available on GoBroncs.com along with BroncVision, the pay per view video stream of Rider Athletics.
In addition, live tweets will be broadcast via Twitter by following @RiderAthletics.
So the date on the calendar is circled, the field is lined and Rider and Lock Haven are set to renew the rivalry one more time.
And fittingly at high noon.