Posted: August 29, 2009
PRINCETON, N.J. – Rider’s offense exploded for five first half goals as the Broncs dealt Lehigh an 8-2 setback in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Bill Smoyer Field on the campus of the Princeton Day School. Senior Morgan Christopher and freshman Kim Eng found the back of the cage for the Mountain Hawks, who gave up eight goals on 26 shots on the afternoon. Rider begins its season at 1-0, while Lehigh begins with an 0-1 mark.
“We didn’t make a lot of good decisions with the ball, and we didn’t handle the ball well under pressure,” said Lehigh head coach Julie Mazer. “I know we’re capable of playing better than we showed today, but we have to do a better job with the ball and a better job under pressure.”
It took just over eight minutes for the host Broncs to strike as Margaret Ecke scored on a corner off a feed from Virginia Egusquiza. Rider added four more goals in the half, including two from Jackie Adams, one from Megan Pisani and a penalty stroke goal by Egusquiza.
Lehigh finally got on the scoreboard at the 33:44 mark as Christopher scored on a rebound in front of the cage to make it 5-1 Rider at halftime. The goal was the third of Christopher’s career and the first since 2006 as she missed all of last season with an injury. Sophomore Madison Ingal was credited with an assist on the play.
In the second half, the Mountain Hawks opened the scoring as Eng converted a penalty stroke just over 90 seconds into the period, putting Lehigh back within three goals at 5-2. The Broncs would not relent however, as Rider scored the final three goals of the contest, with Marlaine Schiener scoring scoring in the 58th minute, Egusquiza adding another penalty stroke two minutes later, and then Ecke netted her second of the day with just under ten minutes remaining. Egusquiza led the way for Rider with two goals and two assists for a six point day.
“We had a 10-15 minute stretch where we played well but it’s simply not enough,” explained Mazer. “It’s disappointing for the first game and we’ll have to work on coming out with a better performance next time.”
The Broncs out-shot Lehigh 26-10 and held a 16-4 advantage in penalty corners.
Junior Jess Miller played the first 60 minutes in the goal cage for Lehigh, making ten saves before giving way to classmate Lilia Stefaniwsky. Lyndsie Johnson made five stops to earn the win for Rider.
Egusquiza led all players with seven shots, while Christopher and Eng paced the Mountain Hawks with three apiece.
The Mountain Hawks will try to get in the win column when they return to action on Wednesday when they travel to West Chester. Game time is set for 4 p.m.