College Women’s Soccer
Rider University 1, Siena College 0
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— The Siena Saints came marching into Rider’s home and the Broncs wanted to be in that number, winning the conference opener.
The Broncs defeated Siena in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game Saturday afternoon. “It was a tough game,” said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. “The last two times we played them the game went into overtime. They are a good team.”
With the win the Broncs are now 24-8-4 in their last 36 home games.
For Rider (4-3, 1-0 MAAC) freshman Michelle Iacono (Merrick, N.Y./Calhoun) took a pass from freshman Priscilla Santos (Glendora, Calif./Glendora) and scored her third goal of the season in the 34th minute of play. “It was very similar to when we played Temple,” Hounsome said of his scoring duo. “We won 1-0 that game as well when Priscilla had the assist and Michelle scored the goal. We’ve got a bit of a diamond in the rough when it comes to Michelle. She is a special player.”
“I was making a run down the sideline and I got a great ball passed to me from Priscilla and I was able to put the right curve on the ball and just put it in the corner,” said Iacono, who earned First Team All-State honors in high school. “It is a lot more tough to score on this level. The speed of play is so much quicker, especially today being a conference game.”
Freshman Vanessa Perdomo (Hillsborough, NJ/South Brunswick) and freshman Bethany-May Howard (Glastonbury, England/Bridgwater College) combined for their second shutout of the season. “We have a couple of special goalkeepers,” Hounsome said. “They both did a fantastic job today.”
Perdomo made one save in the first half and Howard made three in the second half. “Vanessa made one massive save and Beth made a huge save down the stretch on arguably the toughest forward in the conference.”
Rider held Brittany Pfaff, the MAAC’s leading scorer with nine goals, to just two shots, both coming in the final minutes of play and one was point blank. Siena lost three straight before winning Wednesday 3-2 over Vermont, when Pfaff scored all three goals.
The Broncs are 1-0 in the MAAC for the first time since 2010 and just the second time in six years. “Obviously we’re really pleased to get the three points in the first conference game,” Hounsome said.
Siena (4-5, 0-1 MAAC) out-shot Rider 13-11, including 6-4 in the first half.
Rider won 2-1 in overtime at Siena last year, Rider’s first win over the Saints since 2006. The last time Siena came to Lawrenceville in 2011 the game ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Saints hold an 8-7-3 advantage in the series with Rider that began in 1997.
The Broncs travel to Buffalo, NY Wednesday to take on MAAC-rival Canisius. “We are away for the next three games,” Hounsome said. “That will be a challenge. We have to give the intensity we showed today.”