October 22, 2007 -
LAWRENCEVILLE—Rider freshman Margaret Ecke (New Egypt) was awarded Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week honors for games played October 15-21 it was announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. “It is a well deserved honor for her,” said head coach Lori Hussong. “She just had an outstanding week in the games that she played.”
Ecke, a 5-2 midfielder/forward had a goal and two assists last week as the Broncs posted two NEC road wins at Monmouth and Sacred Heart.
“I’m very honored to represent my team,” said Ecke. “We’ve pulled together and the team as a whole has made me a better player. The comradeship has made our team more competitive as a whole.”
Against the Hawks, Ecke made a defensive save in overtime and pushed the ball up the field, creating a penalty corner. Ecke then scored the winning goal with 52 seconds left in the first overtime in Rider’s 3-2 win. Ecke also assisted on the opening goal of the game, just 3:51 in.
At Sacred Heart, Ecke assisted on the eventual winning goal as Rider (9-8, 6-1 NEC) clinched the number two seed in the upcoming playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Pioneers.
“She is getting better and better,” Hussong added. “Our team is getting better and better because of her play.”
Ecke, a biochemistry major, is currently fourth in the conference averaging 0.24 assists per game. Ecke is eighth in the NEC in defensive saves with two.
“It’s pretty rare for a freshman to break into the starting lineup right away,” said Hussong. “This year especially, we’ve had a lot of talented younger players that have played a lot of minutes and she is one of them. Our team is improving because of the play of all of the freshmen.”
This marks the 22nd time under head coach Lori Hussong that the Broncs have been honored with a conference Rookie of the Week award, including the fourth time this season. Freshman forward Michaela Franey (York, Maine/York) was honored by the conference in back to back weeks at the start of the season with rookie Amanda Barretta (Roseland/West Essex) honored the first week of October.
“It’s a credit to the coaching staff that so many different players have been recognized,” Ecke added. “We work very hard together and put pressure on each other to become better players.”
“It is a credit to Dan [assistant coach Hussong] for the recruiting job that he does for us,” Hussong said. “He brought in a nice class for us and they all have been productive.”
Rider hosts Fairfield in the final regular season game of the year October 25. The Broncs travel to Lock Haven for the NEC playoffs November 2-3.