College Field Hockey
Rider University 1, Sacred Heart University 0 (2ot)
Northeast Conference Game
FAIRFIELD, Conn.--Senior Gabby Burgo (Collingswood) scored her eighth goal of the season, 1:30 into the second overtime as the Rider University field hockey team escaped Sacred Heart with a 1-0 Northeast Conference win on Friday afternoon.
Burgo tipped in a pass from senior Jackie Adams (Medford Lakes/Shawnee) at the 91:30 mark.
"This was a HARD fought battle," said head coach Lori Hussong, in her 13th season at Rider. "Sacred Heart is so much improved and today was a 50-50 game."
For Burgo, it was her second game-winner of the season and for Adams, it was her fourth assist of the year.
"Jackie hustled and dribbled the ball to the right," Hussong said. "Gabby was in front of the goalie and calmly slammed the ball into the cage. Gabby and the rest of our seniors have come up big for us and that's good to see. Gabby's hard work is paying off for her; every day she comes to practice willing to improve and this is great to see."
"The play was on a corner," Burgo remembered. "The ball got hit up by Jackie (Adams) and I was able to tip it in on the right post."
Making her first start since September 2, freshman Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) recorded her second shutout of the season, making four saves, including two in the overtime periods.
"Prettyman was outstanding," Hussong said. "It was good to see that. We went with a different look and Joelle was poised and in control. She withstood a series of shots and kept the ball out of the cage for us."
Rider (9-4, 2-0 NEC) out-shot Sacred Heart (5-7, 0-2 NEC) 22-16 (14-4 in shots on goal) and the Broncs held a 16-5 penalty corner advantage.
Rider had a golden opportunity to convert a penalty stroke 10 minutes into the second half but the ball was misfired with SHU goalie Mary Altepeter making the save.
Altepeter had 13 saves for the Pioneers.
"We had a lot of opportunities and SHU's goalie was outstanding," Hussong said.
Rider defeated Sacred Heart 4-0 last season on the Ben Cohen Field in Lawrenceville. The Broncs and Pioneers have now met 24 times with Rider winning 18. Rider defeated Sacred Heart 2-0 in Connecticut in 2010 and 3-0 on the road in 2009. In 2008, Rider defeated the Pioneers 3-1 in Lawrenceville and 2-0 in the '08 NEC semifinals at Lock Haven.
This was Rider's second straight NEC overtime win and the Broncs have won 25 straight NEC contests, dating back to the 2008 season.
"Winning the game feels awesome," Burgo said. "We really worked hard to get the victory. Every team gives us their best and it is nerve racking. We just came together as a team and got the win. Being looked at to help lead the team feels great. Having a breakthrough senior year is awesome."
The Broncs are now 4-0 in overtime games this season.
"It is a credit to the players on the field that they can muster up the energy to win in a pressure situation," Hussong said. "This was a championship effort as far as work ethic. As coaches, we are proud that this team can stay cool and get the job done."
Rider stays in Connecticut to face NEC-rival Quinnipiac on Sunday.
"We are going to rest up and get ready for Sunday," Hussong said. "It is going to be another tough battle."