By Jerome Bailey, Staff Writer
Fans applauding, cheering and screaming was the scene at Hofstra Field Hockey stadium two weekends ago. The team had capped off the weekend with a 6-0 shutout victory against Siena and improved to 5-0 at home. This past weekend seemed to have similar hopes as the Pride hit the road, riding an emotional high and a three-game winning streak.
However, the streak would be snapped. The Pride ran into tough opponents and lost to Yale, 4-2, and Drexel, 5-2. For the Pride, the losses continue its losing woes on the road, as it has yet to win a road game. Nonetheless, the team is looking at the positives from this past weekend.
"We are still a young team and from this past weekend we again learned that defense is going to be more and more important as we get deeper into conference play," said Hofstra field hockey coach Kathy De Angelis.
On Sunday against the Yale Bulldogs, the game was tied 2-2 at the half. However, a few minutes into the second half, Bulldogs junior Erin Carter grabbed a rebound off a save from Pride goalie Amanda Heyde and launched the ball into the goal for a 3-2 Yale advantage. The Bulldogs did not look back and even scored again increasing their lead to 4-2. The Pride was not able to pose another threat and fell to the Bulldogs.
"We were in this game, however our defense fell apart in the second half and it is really an issue we are going to try and fix for the rest of the season," said De Angelis.
Despite the loss, there were some highlights for the Pride. Graduate student Diane Caldwell posted her second goal of the season. Junior Arielle Williams scored her eighth goal of the season. The Pride outshot the Bulldogs 23-21 and had six corners to the Bulldogs five. In addition, Heyde had 10 saves.
Friday afternoon against the Drexel Dragons, the Pride achieved a similarly disappointing outcome. The Pride fought hard, but its defense again could not hold and the Pride fell short in its CAA opener.
The teams were in a dogfight for the majority of the game and notched up at 2-2 in the second half. Both teams were playing solid defense and goals were hard to come by. In the final 15 minutes the Pride could not maintain its defensive effort and Drexel took control. The Dragons were led by senior Christina Mastropaolo, who had all five of the team's goals. The five goals is a career-high for Mastropaolo, who broke the Drexel record for goals in one game.
"We were playing fantastic against Drexel. It was a 2-2 game with less than 15 minutes to go and then Drexel got the momentum and we lost our defense," De Angelis said. "The press was broken. They scored three goals in 11 minutes. We literally lost the game in 11 minutes." On offense, Williams again had a multiple goal game for the Pride and scored Hofstra's only goals. In spite of the defense's struggles, Heyde had a career-high 14 saves and kept the Pride in the game.
"We will be working on our team, and individual defense this week in practice," De Angelis said.