College Field Hockey
Columbia University 3 Rider University 2
NEW YORK, N.Y.--The debate rages on.
No, not the Presidential debate which is taking place as this story goes to press. The debate about the Rider field hockey team as they head into conference play.
Who are the Broncs? The team that has currently lost three of the last four games or are the Broncs the team that won six straight games (including two in overtime) after an opening season loss at nationally ranked Drexel.
After Wednesday night, the debate, at least in Lawrenceville, has intensified.
The Rider University field hockey team lost the final non-conference regular season game of the season, falling at Columbia 3-2.
"Take nothing away from Columbia, they played an excellent and spirited game," said head coach Lori Hussong. "It comes down to the fact that we didn't execute, especially on our corner plays and that's a concern as we head into conference play on Sunday."
For the Broncs, senior Jackie Adams (Medford Lakes/Shawnee) scored her second goal of the season after senior Marlaine Schneider (Feasterville, Pa./Neshaminy) gave her a crossing pass from the right side, 2:45 into the game.
Columbia (7-3) tied the game just over three minutes later and despite that early flurry of offense, the teams went into intermission tied at 1-1.
The Lions scored seven minutes into the second half and added an insurance goal just 2:51 later for a 3-1 lead.
Senior Gabby Burgo (Collingswood) scored her sixth of the season with 29 seconds left, converting a loose ball off a blocked shot for the final score.
Freshman goalie Alicia Carthan (Bordentown) made five saves for the Broncs with sophomore Dezarae Fillmyer (Roebling/Florence) making a defensive save for Rider.
Rider (7-4) out-shot Columbia 20-15 (13-9 shots on goal) and the Broncs held a 11-5 penalty corner advantage.
"The lack of execution on our corner play has been a recurring theme this year," Hussong said. "We weren't as hungry to win as Columbia was. We have to hate losing more than we like winning. We didn't stay composed and make plays, that's the bottom line."
Rider entered play leading the nation in penalty corners per game with 12.8 after finishing number one nationally the last two seasons, averaging 11.81 corners in 2011 and 13.85 corners per game in 2010.
Rider and Columbia have now split the six all-time meetings. The teams last met in 2004 with the Broncs winning 2-0, also in New York. The Lions last defeated Rider in 1999, coming into tonight's game.
Undefeated in three straight seasons of Northeast Conference regular season play and the two-time defending NEC champions, Rider hopes to continue its conference winning streak and end the debate once and for all at Robert Morris University on Sunday.