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Tournament hopes dwindle for Hofstra field hockey

By Jerome Bailey, Staff Writer

After a 3-0 win on Friday against the Tribe of William and Mary, the Hofstra field hockey team could not carry the momentum to Sunday; falling to the nineteenth ranked Old Dominion Monarchs 3-1. The loss is the Pride's first at home this season and its fourth loss in Colonial Athletic Association play. The loss also hurts the Pride's chance of making a seventh straight post-season appearance.

"We're going to stay optimistic until the end and we're going to finish strong," said Hofstra field hockey coach Kathy De Angelis.

The Pride, now 6-8 on the season and 1-4 in the CAA, is not mathematically eliminated from the four-team CAA Tournament yet, but it must win all of its remaining games and get help, as it loses many potential tiebreakers.

The Pride notched an important victory on Friday, knocking the Tribe to 3-9 on the season and 1-3 in CAA play. The win was the Pride's first conference victory and it snapped a four-game losing skid. Prior to the game De Angelis called the matchup "a must win" for her team.

"It was a great win for us and it was even better because it was against a conference opponent," said De Angelis after the game.

The shutout win for the Pride was its third of the season. The team was led by scorers Darrah Rachman, Arielle Williams, both juniors, and senior Becky Kazaks.

The Pride raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back. In spite of being outshot by the Tribe, the Pride was able to hang on. The shutout was junior goalie Amanda Heyde's second of the season. Another highlight for the Pride was when Williams converted on her sixth penalty stroke of the season, making her six for six in that department.

De Angelis' team could not find the same success Sunday afternoon against ODU, who moves to 7-7 on the year and 4-1 in the CAA. The Pride quickly found itself down 1-0, just 9:46 into the game. The Lady Monarchs added to the lead, posting three first-half goals and did not give the Pride a chance, outshooting Hofstra 14-5 in the first 35 minutes.

"After a sluggish first half, I was proud of the way we responded in the second half," said De Angelis.

The Pride had more scoring opportunities in the second half, recording six penalty corners in a matter of minutes. However, the Lady Monarchs defense did not allow the Pride to convert on five of the corners.

"Well, ODU has wonderful goal keeping and they can finish on the attack, which is what they were able to do against us," said De Angelis after the game.

The Pride did come away with a goal from Williams on its sixth corner of the. The goal is her team-leading eleventh tally of the season.

"Arielle has been incredible this season. I am so proud of her success and her leadership," De Angelis said. "She has been amazing on our attack plays and 11 goals from a midfield position is outstanding. She plays with a big heart and I am glad we have her for another year."    Junior goalie Meredith Golden entered the game at halftime in relief for Heyde, made two saves and prevented the Monarchs from scoring in the half.

The Pride has layoff of over a week until its next contest, which is on October 22 at Northeastern. Following that game, the Pride will travel to the University of Maine on Sunday October 24 for a non-conference matchup.

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