Men's College Soccer
Princeton University 3 Rider University 1
PRINCETON--The Rider University men's soccer team lost to Princeton University 3-1 in the first round of the Princeton Invitational Friday evening.
The game was played on Princeton's Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium. With the loss, Rider dropped to 0-6 on the season.
"Our schedule is pretty tough and ambitious, but when you get a chance to play a team like these guys on a great facility you can't say no," said Rider coach Charlie Inverso, "We gained a lot from coming here tonight."
Trailing 1-0, Rider tied the game with 38.20 left in the second half when senior Brandon Sebastian (Monroe Township) converted a penalty kick. It was Sebastian's first goal of the season and the team's third.
The Tigers opened the scoring with 14:30 left in the first half, off a long throw in.
Rider senior goalkeeper Jason Giordano (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) recorded seven saves. The Tigers outshot Rider 15-7.
"The first ten minutes we were good, and then we tanked for the next thirty five minutes," Inverso said. "Thank God our defense and 'Gio' (Jason Giordano) held us in or else we could have been down more than 1-0."
Princeton scored back-to-back goals in the second half to build a 3-1 lead. With 22:50 left to play, the Tigers scored to break the tie, and then added an insurance goal just over two minutes later.
Princeton had 12 corner kicks, but they were not able to convert on any of them.
"We work long and hard at defending corner kicks, so that's another positive that we can take out of this," Inverso added. "We are 0-6, but somewhere along the line something is going to break. We took another small step ahead tonight. We fell back a little bit but went forward in the second half. It was probably the best half we played all year."
Rider defeated Princeton 3-2 in overtime in 2002, the last meeting between the two teams.
Princeton holds a 13-3-3 advantage in the series with Rider that began in 1941.
"We played better in the second half, so the lesson that comes out of the game is why do the coaches have to come out and yell at you to get you to play better," Inverso said. "We came out in the second period tougher, challenging and closing down."
Rider plays the University of Pennsylvania at 12 noon Sunday at Princeton. The Quakers defeated Farleigh Dickinson University 3-2 Friday in the opening game of the tournament.
"We are coming here for two reasons," said Inverso. "We want to get a win and get respect for the Rider jersey. "I know all their coaches really well and they said this was the best they saw us play in a long time."