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Rider goalie ousts Bobcats from NEC Tourney
The Quinnipiac field hockey team’s season ended Friday when it lost 4-2 to the Rider Broncs in the Northeast Conference semifinals.
Top-seeded Rider (15-3, 8-0 NEC) advances to the NEC championship game for the ninth time in 11 years with the victory to play second-seeded Monmouth.
Quinnipiac (8-10, 4-4 NEC) keeper Nicole Lewis set a career high with 13 saves in the match. However, the 20 shots allowed by her defense were too much, as four shots found the back of the net.
The Bobcats couldn’t match the Broncs’ offense, taking only four shots. Rider goalie Rebecca Lotito made two saves on the day. The win was her 12th straight. She leads the nation in goals against average and save percentage.
First team All-NEC and Rookie of the Year Sandra Penas gave Rider an early advantage when she received a pass from Marlaine Schneider and backhanded it into the goal.
Rider’s offense continued 19 minutes in when Lindsay Rajewski scored off of a corner. Two-time NEC Player of the Year Virginia Egusquiza and Alicia Govannicci assisted Rajewski on the play, giving Rider a two goal advantage.
The Bobcats weren’t ready to give up as they scored late in the first half to make it a one goal game. Tina Watkins sent in the corner to Lauren Zimniski, who found Katie Van Nostrand for a score. All three players were awarded All-NEC picks.
Rajewski added another goal early in the second half off of a corner to put the Broncs up by two.
Again the Bobcats rallied back to within a goal when freshman Jess Rusin tallied her fourth goal of the year. NEC First-Team selection Kim Cunniff set Rusin up with the pass in front of the goal.
With five minutes left in the game Egusquiza was interfered with and awarded a penalty stroke from 10 yards out. She placed the shot high to the far left side of the goal which barely beat the diving effort by Lewis.
Quinnipiac was not only out-shot, but had 10 less penalty corners as Rider had 15 to Quinnipiac’s five.