College Field Hockey
Rider’s Penas and O’Brien Honored by the MAAC
LAWRENCEVILLE—One is already an all-time great and the other is well on her way to becoming one of the best.
Senior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain) and freshman Kalyn O'Brien (Southampton/Seneca) of the Rider University field hockey team were named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week respectively for all games September 16-22.
Penas didn’t score all 150 career points in the last seven days, it just seemed that way.
Penas led Rider to a 2-0 week, with wins over Towson (4-0) and Appalachian State (6-2) by scoring five goals and adding an assist for an 11-point week. In the process, Penas tied Rider grad Virginia Egusquiza ’11 at the top on the Bronc all-time scoring list with 150 points.
“Sandra’s hard work finally paid off this past weekend as she was so hard to stop,” said head coach Lori Hussong. “Her play was instrumental in leading a young attack. Our team success has been due to her leadership and effort.”
Against Towson in the home opener Friday night, Penas got Rider (6-1) on the board with a left side blast just 2:02 into the game, and she capped off the scoring against the Tigers on a corner play with just over 12 minutes remaining for the final score.
In a game hosted by James Madison against Appalachian State on Sunday, Penas scored a hat trick and added an assist for a seven-point day. Penas again opened the scoring, hitting the back of the cage in the 13th minute and her assist in the 19th minute gave Rider a three-goal lead.
Penas then deflected a shot just three minutes later to put the Broncs ahead 4-0 and she finished off the first half hat trick in the 28th minute to put Rider ahead 5-1 at intermission.
Sunday was the fourth career three-goal game for Penas. Her career-high in points is eight, set in only her second collegiate game, on September 6, 2010, in an 8-3 win over the Penn Quakers.
Penas, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, now has 50 goals and 30 assists in 67 career games, including six goals and five assists this season.
Penas is 15th nationally in points (2.43), 17th in assists (0.71) and 26th in goals (0.86) per game.
The MAAC Rookie of the Week for the opening week of the season, O’Brien was recognized for the second time, after compiling a five-point week.
Against Towson, O’Brien didn’t disappoint the over 300 fans in attendance by scoring twice as she led the Broncs with 10 shots. Her first goal with exactly 11 minutes before half time gave Rider the all-important two goal cushion and her second tally of the evening, in the 55th minute, broke the game open.
Against Appalachian State, O’Brien assisted on Rider’s opening goal in the 13th minute as the Broncs won 6-2 against the Mountaineers.
“Kalyn played well in both games this weekend,” said Hussong. “She is quickly adapting to the fast pace of the collegiate game and is improving with each contest.”
For the season, O’Brien has four goals and an assist, making all seven starts.
Rider has earned the MAAC Rookie of the Week honor three times with freshman Nicole Hareau (Montevideo, Uruguay) recognized September 9.
As a team, Rider leads the nation in penalty corners per game (12.14) and the Broncs are eighth nationally in winning percentage (.857).
Rider travels to national power Drexel on Wednesday at 7 p.m.