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Niagara women's soccer rallies past Rider for fourth straight victory


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Niagara Purple Eagles won their fourth straight game with a come from behind, 2-1, victory over the Rider Broncs on Saturday.
There was not a lot of separation in a game featuring two teams who won their MAAC opener last weekend. Both teams scored within 30 seconds of each other late in the first half which setup for a tense second half.  Two key saves by keeper Shania van Nuland in the second half kept the game tied before the Purple Eagles converted the game-winning penalty kick for the crucial three points.

  • The game was balanced until the 36th minute when there were two goals scored within 30 seconds apart.
  • Rider's Meghan McCabe pounced on the loose ball in the box off of the en suing corner kick to give the Broncs a 1-0 lead.
  • Immediately after the restart, the Purple Eagles went on the attack. Bailey Sullivan battled off a defender in the box and found Hailey Bicknell who smashed her left-footed shot into the top the net to tie the game at, 1-1.
  • Shania van Nuland made two point-blank saves in the 64th and 69th minutes to keep the game tied.
  • The game-changing moment happened in the 71st minute when Rider was called for a hand ball in the box.  Kelsey Araujo stepped up the Purple Eagles and converted the penalty kick to give NU a 2-1 lead.

  • Hailey Bicknell and Kelsey Araujo each scored their third goals of the season. Araujo's career-high is four goals set during her freshman campaign last season. Bicknell has scored three goals in each of the last two seasons.
  • Bailey Sullivan registered her first assist on the season.
  • Shania van Nuland made a season-high five saves.

  • The Purple Eagles have won their first two conference games for the first time since 2015. Niagara started MAAC play 4-0-0 that season.
  • Kelsey Araujo's penalty kick goal was Niagara's first since 2015.
  • Niagara's shutout streak ends at 322 minutes.
  • This is Niagara's first win versus Rider since 2014.
  • Niagara had a season-high nine shots on goal and a season-high five saves.
  • The Purple Eagles have won four straight for the first time since 2015.
  • Niagara has opened its home schedule with four straight wins for the first time since 1988 and has a four-game home winning streak for the first time since 2014.
  • Niagara improved to 7-2-0 in its last nine MAAC home openers.

  • "I thought we showed great character today, and there was no panic when we went down a goal.  We beat a very good team to stay unbeaten in MAAC play, so hopefully we can continue to build on it and be ready for a tough game on Wednesday at Siena." – head coach Peter Veltri

  • The Purple Eagles will visit the Siena Saints on Wednesday, September 26 for a 3 p.m. kickoff.

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