Women's College Soccer
Rider University 3, Canisius College 0
LAWRENCEVILLE- The Golden Griffin is a mythical creature symbolizing strength.
The Broncs played MythBusters Friday night, defeating the Canisius Golden Griffins in dominating fashion in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game. "We controlled the game from start to finish," said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome.
Rider (8-3-3, 3-2-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute of play on a header by senior midfielder Demi Mello (Mattituck, N.Y./Mattituck). The goal was the fourth of her career. "Demi is a very important part of this team," Hounsome said. "She is someone who possesses the ball for us. She's just a very talented soccer player and a great individual as well. For her to get a header goal tonight was brilliant."
"I was just making a run up and I saw Jody (junior Jody Sokol of Bensalem, PA/Bensalem) get the ball and she played the perfect ball," Mello remembered. "I just got my head on it."
The Broncs took a 2-0 lead just before the half when junior Sarah Cirigliano (Nutley, NJ/Nutley) scored her first career goal.
Junior Bridgette Bartkowski (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) scored with 22 minutes left for the final score. Bartkowski now has 24 points, 15th most ever at Rider
Rider senior goalkeeper Jenn Nichols (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) made two saves for the shutout, her sixth of the season, tying the Rider single-season record. "We're very happy for Jenn for that," Hounsome said.
Rider out-shot Canisius (4-13, 2-5 MAAC) 27-6.
The Broncs defeated Canisius 5-1 last year in Buffalo, Rider's first win over the Griffs since 2006. "Canisius is a good team," Hounsome said. "They won the conference two years ago so putting back-to-back wins on them shows where we are as a program."
Rider and Canisius have now met 17 times since the series began in 1997, and the series is now tied at 8-8-1.
The Golden Griffins came to Lawrenceville on a two-game winning streak, defeating Saint Peter's in overtime and Manhattan on Sunday. "If we play well and play our own game we can beat anybody in the conference," Hounsome said.
The Broncs are 3-0-1 in their last four games. "We're playing more of our style now and it is exciting being in the playoff race," Hounsome said.
Ten Rider seniors will play their final game on Ben Cohen Field Sunday when the Broncs host Niagara at 3pm. The seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony beginning at 2:50 pm. "It will be emotional for all of us," Hounsome said. "This group has played a major part in the development of this program."
"It is beginning to sink in that Sunday is our last home game," Mello said. "It's a little scary, emotional, but it is also motivating to know this will be the last time we play on this field. We all want to come out and do the best we can and win. It is bittersweet."