By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
The Hofstra University women's soccer team looked to extend its 18 game winning streak, complete a 13-0 conference record and guarantee a spot in the NCAA tournament in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game on Nov. 7 against James Madison University.
James Madison, the no. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament, shocked the Pride early when senior forward Cate Tisinger sped past the Hofstra defense and beat Hofstra senior goalkeeper Krista Thorn on her breakaway to give JMU the lead in just the fifth minute.
The Hofstra attack outshot James Madison 6-1, but the Pride could not find the right combination to crack its opponent's defense.
It looked like the Pride would draw the score even early in the second half, but after an impressive run from junior midfielder Brittany Butts, her left footed shot rang off the post and the closest chance for the Pride was gone.
Things went from bad to worse for Hofstra when Tisinger found her way through the Pride defense again. Sophomore defender Brooke Bendernagel challenged her from behind, fouling Tisinger in the box.
The head official decided that the foul was severe enough to award a penalty to James Madison and issue Bendernagel a straight red card.
With the card, the Pride went down to 10 women and the sophomore will miss the next match.
"I thought it [the red card] was very suspect," said Hofstra head coach Simon Riddiough. "He's going to call and say last man and I thought Brooke got a touch on the ball, I thought Emily [freshman goalkeeper Emily Morphitis] made a great save. I wouldn't have called it."
Senior midfielder Theresa Rynier stepped up and slotted in the penalty shot past Morphitis to give JMU a 2-0 lead in the sixty-fourth minute. The penalty was just the second shot of the game for James Madison, but both shots found the back of the net.
The short handed Pride did not go down easily though as it still tried to press on to get back in the game.
Graduate student forward Grace Hawkins' header missed to the right of the right hand post.
Hawkins also drew a foul right near the box, which could have been awarded as a penalty shot, but the official thought otherwise and awarded a free kick just outside and senior defender Dana Bergstrom skied her attempt over the crossbar.
"I feel like he [the head official] kind of gave the game away for us," said senior forward Salma Tarik. "You can make the call, but if you call it one way, you have to call it both ways. Grace got taken down in the box and it was clearly inside the box. You can't do anything about it now, but I don't agree with the officials at all."
Hofstra could not find its way back into the game despite outshooting JMU overall 12-5 and fell 2-0.