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Niagara women's soccer host Rider in MAAC Tournament first round on Sunday

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Celebration
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- With their eyes set on a MAAC Championship, the Niagara Purple Eagles start their road through the MAAC Tournament on Sunday when they host the Rider Broncs at 12 p.m.

Scene Setter

  • Niagara finished the regular season winning two of its last three games, including earning a 2-0 win over Fairfield at home on Oct. 20.
  • Annie Ibey recorded her team-leading eighth goal of the season, while Alexis Horwedel also added a goal for the Purple Eagles. Shania van Nuland made six saves en route to the shutout.
  • The Purple Eagles are playing in the six-team playoff format for the first time since 2015. Niagara played in the tournament last season, earning a penalty kick win over Canisius before falling to top-seeded Monmouth in the quarterfinals.
  • Sunday marks the first postseason match hosted at Niagara Field since the 2014 season, when Niagara earned a win over Canisius, 1-0.
 
Kickoff Tidbits
  • Ibey, a three-time MAAC Rookie of the Week recipient, leads the Purple Eagles in goals (eight) and points (19), and is tied for first in assists (three). Ibey is tied for second in goals and third in points across the MAAC.
  • Ibey's five game-winning goals lead the MAAC and are in a tie for the 14th-most in the country.
  • Kelsey Araujo, leads the team and is second in the conference in both shots (71) and shots per game (4.18).  
  • The Purple Eagles are third in the MAAC in shots per game (17.47) and shutouts (seven), while also tied for third in goals per game (1.47).
  • The Purple Eagles donned a 7-1-0 record at Niagara Field this season, their best performance at home since 2014 (9-1-1).
 
Purple Eagles In The MAAC Tournament
  • The Purple Eagles are 7-10-2 in the MAAC Tournament since 1999.
  • Niagara has won the MAAC Tournament once in program history, claiming the title in 2006. The Purple Eagles have made the final on three other occasions (2003, 2005, 2009)
  • Niagara is looking for its first win in regulation in the MAAC Tournament since 2014. 

Across The Pitch
Rider Broncs (8-5-4, 4-3-3 MAAC)

  • The Broncs come into Sunday's play 3-1-2 in their last six contests, most recently tying Canisius and Saint Peter's to close out the regular season.
  • Rider is tied for third, alongside Quinnipiac and Niagara, in goals per game this season among conference leaders (1.47). The team is also first in the MAAC in saves per game (6.65) and third in assists per game (1.29).
  • The two teams faced off earlier this season at Niagara Field on Sept. 22, when Niagara defeated Rider, 2-1. Bicknell and Araujo delivered goals for the Purple Eagles, while van Nuland made five saves in net. The win was the first in the series for Niagara since the 2014 season.
  • Rider won the most recent MAAC Tournament matchup between the programs when Rider earned a 4-1 win over Niagara to advance to the 2015 MAAC semifinals.
  • In the all-time series, Niagara holds the edge over Rider, 12-9-2.