Rider 2, Quinnipiac 1
College Field Hockey
Rider University 2, Quinnipiac University 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Game
LAWRENCEVILLE—Freshman Carlie Spaeder (Newtown Square, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) redirected a pass from senior Sandra Penas (Barcelona, Spain) with 3:01 left in the game as the Rider University field hockey team rallied from a one-goal deficit to defeat Quinnipiac University 2-1 before over 500 fans on Ben Cohen Field Friday afternoon.
“It was an awesome atmosphere,” said head coach Lori Hussong. “To have all of the athletes out here supporting the field hockey team was great and as you saw, we needed all of their support and inspiration to pull the game out.”
For Spaeder, it was her second goal of the season. The goal came seven seconds after Quinnipiac was assessed a two minute green card penalty.
“It wasn’t all me,” Spaeder said. “The winning goal was because of my team and I could not have scored without them. They worked so hard, hustled and fought.”
“Carlie’s play was just all out effort,” Hussong said. “It was a great play. Carlie played a fantastic game and used her speed on the outside to her advantage. She was the key to our victory today.”
Trailing 1-0, sophomore Rachel Ippolite (Woolwich Twp./Kingsway Regional) used a corner play from freshman Carlota Alsina (Barcelona, Spain) and senior Alicia Govannicci (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) to score her first of the season, tying the game 1-1 with 11:49 left in the second half.
“The goal felt great,” said Ippolite who scored four goals and had three assists as a Rider rookie. “I got a great pass from Carlota on the corner and I knew I had to make the play.”
“The key this season has been for us to not rely on just one person to score,” Hussong said. “We haven’t been able to put the ball in the cage as efficiently as we usually do so it is that much more important when multiple players step up like Rachel and Carlie did today.”
Each team had five penalty corners in the game.
The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead 26:37 into the game on a defensive turnover with Jess Rusin scoring her 12th of the season and Quinnipiac led by a goal at intermission.
“We made some adjustments at the half to speed up the game,” Hussong said. “We were looking to create more scoring opportunities.”
Rider (11-5, 3-1 MAAC) out-shot Quinnipiac (9-6, 2-1 MAAC) 12-8.
Sophomore goalie Joelle Prettyman (Newark, Del./St. Mark’s) made three saves for Rider.
Rider and Quinnipiac met during the 2012 regular season with the Bobcats giving Rider its only conference loss of the season, 3-2 in Hamden, Connecticut. The Broncs gained revenge by defeating the Bobcats 4-1 in the conference semifinals, led by two goals from then senior Gabby Burgo.
“This game was huge for us,” Ippolite said. “It gets us back into the conference race and it was also important because they beat us during the regular season last year so it was also a revenge game for us.”
Rider has won 16 of the 27 meetings all-time against Quinnipiac, dating back to 1998.
Over 500 fans packed Ben Cohen Field as the game was designated as a Code Cranberry event.
There is a slogan among Rider Athletes, that there are 341 athletes, 20 sports but 1 team. Rider SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Council), SAM (Student-Athlete Mentors) and members of the Captains' Leadership Seminar took that slogan and expanded it to create Code Cranberry.
“Code Cranberry is great,” Ippolite said. “Everyone in the stands are cheering for you and it really helped us get motivated.”
On designated Code Cranberry dates, all varsity student-athletes are asked to come out to the contest, wearing their Code Cranberry tee-shirt, and cheer on their fellow student-athletes in an effort to show that while they compete in different sports, they are all part of one team, and that team is Rider Athletics.
“Code Cranberry is awesome,” Spaeder said. “The athletes coming out and supporting everyone is a great atmosphere and gets everyone pumped up.”
The Broncs host Sacred Heart on Sunday at noon. Prior to the game, beginning at 11:45 a.m., Rider will honor its graduating seniors, Alicia Govannicci, Kristine Dougherty, Shari Grinceri and Sandra Penas. The Pioneers lost at first place Monmouth 5-0 Friday afternoon.
“I’m excited for the seniors and senior day,” Ippolite added. “They have been nothing but great leaders for us and I’m really happy for them.”
“The four seniors are great,” Spaeder said. “I actually got to play high school field hockey with Alicia (Govannicci) and I’m so happy that I’m here with her again. And the other three have taught me so much as well. I hope they have a great day on Sunday.”
“We have four outstanding seniors that are graduating,” Hussong said. “We know their time here is precious right now and these games could be their last. We just want to play our best for them and celebrate them and their accomplishments on a special day.”