NJIT 2, Rider 1
Men’s College Soccer
NJIT 2, Rider University 1
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ— In all of the Highlander franchise movies, there is a recurring tagline, “There can be only one.”
When the NJIT Highlanders and Rider Broncs squared off on Wednesday, both sides knew there could be only one winner, and unfortunately for the Broncs it was not them.
The Broncs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with a lost to the New Jersey Institute of Technology Wednesday afternoon. “We played terrific the first 30 minutes of the game but that isn’t good enough,” said Rider head coach Charlie Inverso.
Rider (5-2) scored in the 10th minute of play when freshman Adrien Huss (Madrid, Spain) sent a lob pass into the box that was gathered by freshman Christian Flath (Bargeshagen, Germany), who scored from 18 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
Flath currently leads the MAAC with 11 points, compiling four goals and a conference-best three assists.
NJIT (3-5-1) tied the score with just under five minutes left in the first half on a point blank shot.
The Highlanders scored the game-winner in the eighth minute of the second half off a rebound after NJIT got off three consecutive shots.
NJIT out-shot Rider 17-6, including 10-1 in the second half. “I think in the second half we really let ourselves down today,” Inverso said. “We had built a lot of momentum (the first six games) and I think we blew an opportunity to keep moving things forward. We’re capable of playing much better than we showed today.”
Rider freshman goalkeeper David Pastuna (Robbinsville, NJ) made a career-high eight saves. Pastuna has started the last four games, winning the first three, and was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week last week.
NJIT, who defeated St. Bonaventure 3-0, the team Rider recently defeated 1-0, also took 22nd ranked FDU to a 1-0 game and 19th ranked St. John’s to a 2-1 contest. “NJIT is a talented team that plays a strong schedule,” Inverso said.
Rider is now 2-1-1 vs. NJIT in the series that began in 2007. The last meeting was in 2010, a 3-1 Rider victory.
Rider hosts Seton Hall Wednesday evening at 7pm. “I told our team these next two games (NJIT and Seton Hall) are going to be really good games to get us ready for conference play,” Inverso said. “So now we have a week to think about what we need to do to get better. And we need to be hungrier next time out there.”
The Highlander films depict the climax of an ages-old battle between immortal warriors, depicted through interwoven past and present day storylines.
The Rider Broncs will need to get back to the way they played in the past six games, not the way they played present day.