Women's College Soccer
Rider University 5, Marist College 1
LAWRENCEVILLE- After defeating last year's regular season conference champion (Canisius) 5-1 on Sunday, the Broncs came back to defeat the team that is in first place this year by the same score. "This was an unexpected score, since I don't think we played our best game," said Rider head coach Drayson Hounsome. "This team believes they can play good teams and win."
Junior Abi Cottam (Leominster, England/Ludlow) and sophomore Jennifer Meier (Sayville, NY/St. Anthony's) each compiled two goals and an assist to give Rider a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Marist Friday.
Rider (9-4-1, 2-2 MAAC) took a 1-0 lead just 25 seconds into the game on a goal by Cottam. Marist (9-5, 4-1 MAAC) tied the score at 1-1 with 5:03 left in the first half but Rider came right back and took a 2-1 lead on Cottam's MAAC-high 13th goal of the season just before half time.
"We scored at good times," Hounsome said, "but I don't think we played a great game. Marist stopped us from doing what we wanted."
Meier scored two second half goals, with a career-first goal by sophomore defender Carolyn Wiley (Mount Laurel, NJ/Lenape) sandwiched in between. The 5'11" Wiley scored on a rebound on a corner kick.
"Natalie (Dold) got a rebound and shot it and the goalie couldn't keep hold of it," Wiley explained. "I was just there to make sure it went in."
The goal was the first as a Bronc for Wiley. "I scored a few in high school, maybe four, and they were all on corner kicks," Wiley said. "I've always been a defender, either center back or stopper."
Wiley anchors the Bronc defense that has compiled a MAAC-high six shutouts, which ranks 65th in the nation (of 330). "We take a lot of pride in that," Wiley said. "We don't like to give up any goals. We want to keep getting those shutouts."
"We have a freshman and a sophomore in the back, so every game they are learning," Hounsome said. "Carolyn did a good job as a freshman, got a lot of good experience, and has really stepped up to the plate this year as the experienced player in the back. For her to score was fantastic."
Rider junior Demi Mello (Mattituck, N.Y./Mattituck) added two assists.
Rider freshman goalkeeper Danielle Singson (Deer Park, NY/St. Anthony's) made a career-high nine saves.
Cottam is the leading scorer in the MAAC and entered the game ranked eighth in the nation in points per game, ninth in Division I in assists, 16th in game-winning goals and 17th in goals.
Meier ranks fourth in the MAAC in both goals per game and points per game.
Singson is fourth in the MAAC in goals against average (0.96) and now owns an 8-3 record in the Rider nets.
The victory marked the fourth time Rider scored five goals in a game this year. "That's a nice number," Hounsome said. "The forwards are playing well and are confident."
The victory gives Rider nine wins on the season, already matching last year's total. Last year's record of 9-8-2 was the best for Rider since 2004. "We've put together some wins, which is great, but the season will be a huge disappointment if we don't get into the (four-team) conference tournament," Hounsome said.
The Broncs began the conference schedule 0-2 but have now evened their league mark. "It was tough starting out 0-2 but we know we have the talent so after these two wins over pretty good teams we are very confident," Wiley said.
"We feel we need six wins to make sure we get in the playoffs," Hounsome said. "We need four more."
Marist, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, out-shot Rider 17-15, including 11-6 in the first half. "I thought Marist played a good game," Hounsome said.
Rider lost 2-1 at Marist last season. The last time Marist came to Lawrenceville Rider won 2-1. The Red Foxes own a 9-6 advantage in the series that began in 1997.
Rider hosts Siena Sunday afternoon. Siena won the 2010 MAAC Championship Tournament. "We're just going to keep on going," Wiley said, "or at least we're going to try."