Men's College Soccer
Rider University 2, Manhattan College 0
LAWRENCEVILLE-You never forget your first, whether it is a goal, a win or a shutout. The Broncs experienced all of the above Sunday with a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win over Manhattan.
"Big MAAC win," said Rider head coach Russ Fager. "We played a little bit different game today with a few different players."
Sophomore Chris Kozak (Flanders, N.J./Morris Catholic) scored his first collegiate goal, junior Jonathan Burd (Kendall Park, N.J./South Brunswick) scored his first collegiate goal, and sophomore goalkeeper Jason Giordano (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) recorded his first collegiate victory and his first shutout.
"Anytime you can get two goals and a shutout you've had a good day," Fager said. "I'm excited for the guys."
Kozak scored mid-way through the first half to give Rider a 1-0 lead. "Cotesy (senior Andrew Cotes of Selden, N.Y./Newfield) went down the line, had a great run, and crossed a great ball," Kozak said. "I was just there and luckily I got it. It was the best feeling in the world."
"Kozak is one of those guys that is a very solid player," Fager said, "but what he is even more to us is a personality. He keeps everyone loose."
Burd made it 2-0 with 30 minutes left in the game. "It was a great ball by (sophomore Dan) Friga (Clifton, N.J./Passaic County Tech)," Burd said. "I ran to the keeper and put it in with my left. Getting my first was a great experience. Even though I'm a defender, everybody wants to score at some point in their career."
"JB is a tremendous defender for us," Fager said. "He's played 10 very good games now. He works hard every time out and does a great job leadership-wise."
Giordano (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) made five saves.
"Gio did a great job in net," Fager said. "He didn't know he was playing today until about two hours before the game when we made our decision. He handled himself very well."
"I found out I was playing around noon," said Giordano, who did not see any action last year and played in two games this year before Sunday. "I was excited. I was a little nervous but happy I got the start. I felt comfortable playing. I had a good defense in front of me."
Both teams had 17 shots.
Rider (2-9, 1-1 MAAC) had six shots on goal in its first conference win of the season. "We're even at 1-1 in the conference now," Giordano said. "Now we're looking to improve on that."
"We needed this win," Burd said. "Now we're 1-1 and have some momentum for Loyola. Hopefully we'll have the same type of atmosphere we had on Friday, when we had about 600 rowdy people here."
"This win is a stepping stone," Kozak said. "We have Loyola coming in, which will probably be our biggest challenge of the year. We'll try to get a win out of that and see what happens the rest of the year."
Manhattan (0-8, 0-2 MAAC) had five shots on goal.
Rider defeated Manhattan 3-1 in New York last year and the Broncs own an 8-3-4 advantage in the series that began in 1997.
Rider hosts Loyola, the defending MAAC Champion, Saturday night at 7pm.