College Field Hockey
Rider University 6, Appalachian State 2
Penas Ties Rider Career Scoring Record
HARRISONBURG, Va.—Rider University field hockey senior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain) didn’t score all 150 career points against Appalachian State on Sunday. It just seemed that way.
Penas scored a hat trick and added an assist for a seven point day, leading Rider (6-1) to a 6-2 win against the Mountaineers in a game hosted by James Madison University.
With two goals against Towson in a 4-0 win on Friday night, Penas, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, had an 11-point week and tied 2011 graduate Virginia Egusquiza at the top of Rider’s all-time scoring list. Egusquiza had 44 goals and 62 assists (150 points) from 2008-2011.
“Sandra’s mentality has always been to do what is best for the team,” said head coach Lori Hussong. “The record will mean something down the road but all she is worried about is winning games and having the team be as successful as possible. And she did that for us today. It was a great effort."
Penas currently has 60 goals and 30 assists (150 points) in 67 career games.
“I didn’t know I was near the record,” Penas said. “It was a good surprise when coach told me. I honestly don’t worry about those things. I want to have my best season yet and hopefully compete for another conference championship.”
Penas opened the scoring at the 12:11 mark of the first half, converting a pass from freshman Kalyn O'Brien (Southampton/Seneca) to give the Broncs a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Carolina Vergroesen (Amsterdam, Netherlands) scored on a breakaway, just 1:30 later, to give Rider a 2-0 lead.
Penas drew the goalie out and passed the ball to freshman Nicole Hareau (Montevideo, Uruguay) who scored her fifth of the season, putting the Broncs ahead 3-0 in the 19th minute.
Penas deflected a shot by Vergroesen 14 minutes before the half, increasing Rider’s lead to 4-0.
“It was a good game,” Penas said. “We scored early and that was important. The offense is playing better and together as a group and that was good as well. We still need to work on some things but we are playing with confidence.”
After ASU cut the Bronc lead to 4-1 in the 26th minute, Penas put Rider back up by four after receiving a crossing pass from senior Alicia Govannicci (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) in the 28th minute, sending Rider into intermission with a 5-1 lead.
“We played well in the opening half,” said Hussong. “We converted a lot of scoring opportunities. Everyone was working together as a unit to get the ball down the field.”
Govannicci now has 41 points, 26th best all-time on the Bronc scoring list.
Hareau completed the scoring for the Broncs with her second goal of the game and sixth of the season, converting a rebound with 23 minutes remaining.
“With every game, the freshmen are getting better and better,” Hussong said about the three goals and two assists from her rookie class. “They are all meshing together with the veterans and they are giving each other opportunities to score.”
Appalachian State hit the back of the cage on a deflection, with nine seconds left in the game for the final score.
Led by 11 shots from Penas, Rider out-shot Appalachian State 28-10.
Sophomore goalie Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark’s) played the opening 59 minutes, making two saves to pick up the win. Freshman goalie Dorothy Von Ahnen (East Windsor/Hightstown) finished the final 10:21 for the Broncs.
Each team had six penalty corners.
The Broncs are 6-0 all-time against the Mountaineers. The Broncs won 7-1 on September 4, 2011 in a game also hosted by James Madison that saw Penas score twice while adding an assist. Rider won against ASU 6-0 in 2009 in Boone, North Carolina, 3-2 in 2008 (at West Chester) and 4-3 in overtime in 2007 in Farmville, Virginia. In 2004, the Broncs defeated ASU 2-0 in Richmond, Virginia.
Rider travels to nationally ranked Drexel on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. non-conference game.
“Drexel is going to be one of the best teams that we see this year,” Hussong said. “We expect a good game from them. With them and Lock Haven (September 28), we have two very tough games coming up.”