College Field Hockey - NCAA Play-In
#16 University of Massachusetts 2, Rider University 1 (ot)
AMHERST, Mass.--For the third season in a row, the Rider University field hockey season came to an end in the NCAA Play-In game with the Broncs losing at 16th ranked University of Massachusetts 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday afternoon.
"UMass definitely had the better of the play today," said head coach Lori Hussong. "I am proud of the way we hung with them. They dominated play but we were right there and almost pulled out the win. We just couldn't generate any sustained offense. We hung with them but couldn't score."
UMass used its second penalty corner of the overtime period to score 7:14 into the extra session after the initial shot hit the post.
Senior Marlaine Schneider (Feasterville, Pa./Neshaminy) passed the ball to junior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain) who scored her team-leading 20th goal of the season with a back handed shot from the right side of the circle, giving Rider a 1-0 lead just 9:34 into the game and the Broncs led 1-0 at the half.
Penas will enter her senior season third on Rider's all-time scoring list (54g, 25a) with 133 points and Schneider graduates with 107 points (35g, 37a), eighth best all-time at Rider.
"This was anybody's game and we could have easily walked off the field with a win today," Hussong added.
Penas entered the game eighth in goals and ninth in points per game in the national statistics.
"Sandra played well and is one of the best players in the country," Hussong said. "She faced triple teams all throughout the day. If we could have helped her a little more offensively, we would have generated a more sustained attack."
UMass tied the game on a tip-in off a penalty corner with 15:27 left in regulation.
Freshman Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark's) made five saves for Rider (15-6).
"Joelle stood up strong today," said Hussong. "The overtime goal was a lucky bounce and that's unfortunate. It's a tough play but she kept us in the game while under some tremendous pressure."
UMass (15-8) out-shot the Broncs 15-5.
The Minutewomen held a 7-2 penalty corner advantage. Rider entered the contest leading the nation in penalty corners, averaging just under 15 per game.
This was Rider's sixth NCAA Play-In game and the second year in a row that the Broncs have lost in overtime. Rider lost at Princeton 1-0 in double overtime in 2011 and the Broncs lost at the University at Albany 2-1 in 2010 and at Richmond 1-0 in 2002. Rider also lost at Boston U. in 2000 and at Richmond in 2004.
Rider came into the game 4-0 in overtime this season and 6-2 in one-goal games.
This season, Rider won the Northeast Conference regular season title for the fourth year in a row and seventh time overall (2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). Rider also won its third NEC tournament championship in a row and sixth all-time (2000, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012). The Broncs have appeared in 11 of the last 13 NEC championship games.
"I'm proud of the effort," Hussong said. "At the beginning of the year, we were young and inexperienced and it took a really long time for the leaders to really establish themselves. Our seniors did an outstanding job of staying with it and pounding away and teaching how things are done at Rider."
In the two other NCAA Play-In games Tuesday, Stanford (16-6) defeated Miami (Ohio) (12-10) 4-1 and Princeton (17-1) defeated Lafayette (17-2) 6-0.
The Broncs return 19 letterwinners for the 2013 season for Hussong who has a 184-77 record in 13 seasons at Rider.
"Every season is different but the experience and pressure of playing in an NCAA Play-In can't be simulated," Hussong said. "We are already going to be a stronger team because of not only this season but the experiences of the three straight NCAA Play-In games for the rising junior class coming back. It is going to make everyone hungry to achieve this again next year."