Women’s College Soccer
Rider University 4, Mount Saint Mary’s 1
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— Sir Edmund Hillary is known for being the first person to reach the top of Mount Everest, the highest summit on earth. He would not have conquered that mount, however, if it wasn’t for his much lesser known Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay.
Rider All-MAAC senior Jennifer Meier (Sayville, NY/St. Anthony’s) scored two goals and an assist to lead Rider to victory over Mount St. Mary’s on Friday.
But just as Sherpa Tenzing assisted Hillary in scaling that mount, the Broncs would not have conquered The Mount if it wasn’t for freshman Hollie Kelsh (Lancashire, England/Sandbach).
“Hollie played well,” said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. “Our possession of the ball has been better and when we have possession Hollie is going to be more dangerous.”
“It was a good team performance,” Kelsh said. “Everyone dug in deep, which is important. We improved so much from the last game, and I’m so happy with the win.”
Kelsh took a pass from Meier and scored her first collegiate goal in the 11th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. Freshman Caroline Healy (Dublin, Ireland/Alexandra College) was also credited with an assist on the play, her first collegiate point.
“I think it was Caroline who set the ball back and I just opened my body out and struck the ball into the top left-hand corner.”
Meier took a pass from Kelsh and scored the game-winner in the 26th minute. “The ball was bouncing around and I was able to get it down and I flicked it to Jenn and she scored a good goal,” Kelsh said in her British accent. “It was a good finish.”
Meier added an insurance goal 13 minutes into the second half for a 3-1 lead.
Senior Bridgette Bartkowski (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee), who assisted on Meier’s second goal, scored on an assist from Kelsh with 15 minutes left in the game for the final score.
“Gette and Jen played fantastic games,” Hounsome said. “We challenged them to really work together, create chances for each other, and they did an awesome job. Our offense is starting to click.”
The Mount (1-4) scored in the sixth minute of play to take a 1-0 lead.
Rider (2-2) out-shot The Mount 24-13, including 14-4 in the first half.
Rider freshman Bethany-May Howard (Glastonbury, England/Bridgwater College) played the first half in the Rider goal and made one save. Rider freshman goalkeeper Vanessa Perdomo (Hillsborough, NJ/South Brunswick) played the second half and made three saves.
With the win, the Broncs are now 23-8-4 in their last 35 home games.
Meier now has 22 career goals and 55 career points, both fifth highest ever at Rider.
Bartkowski now has seven career goals and her 13 career assists are fifth most ever at Rider.
“Four to one is a very pleasing result,” Hounsome said. “The last two years it has been close games with them.”
Rider beat The Mount 1-0 last year in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The last time MSM came to Lawrenceville the Mountaineers won the 2011 season opener, 1-0. In their only other meeting, Rider and MSM tied 1-1 in 1997, Rider’s first year of varsity status.
“So to come out and beat them 4-1 and out-shoot them the way we did is very pleasing,” Hounsome added.
Rider travels to Temple for a 12 noon game Sunday. “That’s the challenge,” Hounsome said, “to see if we can play when we are tired.”
And that is why people climb mountains, for the challenge.