College Field Hockey
#18 Drexel University 2, Rider University 1
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Rider, the Dragon slayer; almost.
The Rider University field hockey team took nationally ranked Drexel to the limit, leading the game for over 50 minutes, before falling 2-1 on Wednesday evening at Buckley Field in Philadelphia.
Drexel tied the game on a penalty corner with 18 minutes left in the game, scoring off a direct hit to the left side of the cage.
The Dragons scored the game-winner with just 5:42 left in the contest on a tip-in after a long pass up the field.
“Win or lose, it really was a great game,” said head coach Lori Hussong. “A couple breaks here and there and maybe we win the game.”
Drexel (6-2) entered the game #18 in the 2013 Penn Monto / NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll.
For Rider (6-2), freshman Carolina Vergroesen (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) scored her second goal of the season, tipping in a pass during a penalty corner from junior Laura McCormick (West Windsor/West Windsor-Plainsboro South), just 1:20 into the game.
“Carolina made a nice play,” said Hussong. “Scoring that quickly was huge and allowed us to play a little more relaxed.”
Rider led 1-0 at intermission.
“We strive to get better and improve every game and we continued to do that tonight,” Hussong said. “Playing a lot of freshmen in key positions tonight was a great experience for the development of the team. We got to see the level that we are trying to reach on a consistent basis and how well we compare to that level.”
Sophomore goalie Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark’s) only had to make one save, relying on a stellar defensive back line to hold down the Drexel attack until the end of the game.
Prettyman entered the game 10th nationally in winning percentage and 11th in goals against average.
Drexel out-shot Rider 13-5 and the Dragons held a 9-3 penalty corner advantage.
“Drexel had numerous chances to score,” Hussong added. “When they get that many opportunities, eventually they are going to bang one in.”
Rider entered the game as the national leader in penalty corners.
The Dragons have won 10 of the 21 games all-time against Rider with two games ending in a tie. Drexel defeated the Broncs 3-0 in the 2012 season opener, also in Philadelphia. Prior to last season, the teams last met in 1999 with the Dragons winning. Rider last defeated Drexel in 1995.
Rider travels to perennial power Lock Haven on Saturday.
“We didn’t play well against Lock Haven last season,” said Hussong. “We want to have a better showing and are looking to give them a better game.”