Enrique Carrasco, Editor
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Explorers faced off against the Rider Broncs for their home opener game. The Explorers came into the game on a 3-game losing streak and were looking to end the streak with a win at home. The game was off to a slow start in the first quarter, where the defense stole the show on both sides of the ball. The quarter ended with only two shots, both of which came from the Explorers. The Explorers seemed to pick up the pace during the second quarter, where they not only doubled their shots but also managed to come away with their first goal of the contest at the 28th minute. The goal came after a corner pass from Junior forward Tatum Johnson to Sophomore Defender Sofia Pla, who then got the shot off, but the ball ricocheted off of the goal post. Freshman defender Malena Balduzzi then recovered the shot, but it was blocked by the goalkeeper. Johnson was able to scoop up the rebound and get the ball past the goalkeeper, putting the Explorers up 1-0 before the end of the half.
The Explorers seemed to carry the momentum through halftime as they came out of the break full of energy and drive. The second goal of the contest came from yet another corner, where Johnson passed the ball to Pla, who was able to rip a shot and give the Explorers a two-goal advantage over the Broncs. It wasn’t until the end of the last quarter that Pla once again took a shot on goal after a pass from the corner, although the shot was saved by the Broncs’ goalkeeper, Junior Forward Paige Doyle was able to capture the rebound and put the ball past the keeper, putting the explorers up 3-0 at the end of the game.
In an interview after the game, Sophomore Sofia Pla stated, “I was excited [after the win]; I felt like we needed that win more than anything.” The Explorers went on a 3-game losing streak prior to this win, giving them a 2-3 record. Thanks to this win against the Broncs, the Explorers improved their record to 3-3. In regard to this, Pla stated, “Winning at home, having everyone staying despite the rain made it great… I feel like the team felt happy to see the hard work we had been putting into practice actually work. We came from three consecutive hard losses, so winning as we won on Sunday was a great way of ending the bad streak. The team felt good and comfortable at home, we managed to capitalize out of APC’s [Attack penalty corner], and we got our three goals out of it.”
The Explorer’s victory over the Broncs marks their first win over them since 2018. The Explorers advanced to a 5-win and 10-loss record against the Broncs, with this win being the highest margin of victory for the Explorers over the Broncs. Next up, the explorers will travel to Lock Haven for their first conference game of the season.