By Alex Hyman, Staff Writer
After back-to-back losses this week, the Hofstra University men's soccer team's chance to make the Colonial Athletic Association postseason is nearly over.
Desperately in need of a win, Hofstra returned home Wednesday night to host the Patriots of George Mason University.
Both defenses played extremely well in the early stages as neither team recorded a shot on net in the first ten minutes of the match. The first chance of the game came in the eleventh minute when sophomore midfielder Chris Griebsch won the ball and found freshman midfielder Maid Memic who was able to get a shot off, but it was deflected away by George Mason's solid backline.
Hofstra had another golden opportunity in the twenty-seventh minute when senior striker Brett Carrington found junior midfielder Mike Annarumma who had his open net chance cleared by the defense.
George Mason struck just minutes later when senior midfielder Ryan Garcia received a pass off of a corner kick. He promptly knocked it into the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Hofstra got its equalizer in the forty-third minute when a free kick taken by Griebsch was sent into the box and found the head of streaking sophomore defender Shaun Foster.
"Foster's timing is just awesome" said head coach Richard Nuttall.
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Hofstra took advantage of another free kick from the midfield. This time Griebsch took the free kick and swung the ball into the box, which once again found the head of Foster.
"Griebsch's delivery is tremendous, he's as good as I've seen," Nuttall said.
Griebsch not only got the assist on the play, but also won the ball on a magnificent display of defense which led to the free kick.
Griebsch and Foster have been the anchors of the team this season. Griebsch leads the team with 13 points, recording three goals and seven assists while Foster has a team high five goals while also playing stellar defense.
"He's the best player in the conference," said Nuttall. "He's absolute quality. He's just now getting to full fitness and is just tremendous."
George Mason was not done however as they were able to fight back with under 20 minutes to play to tie the match at two a piece.
Both teams had chances in the final minutes of regulation but neither side could notch the go ahead goal, sending Hofstra to its fifth overtime game of the season.
Scoreless through the first overtime period, George Mason controlled the ball for much of the second overtime. Just when it looked like the Pride was establishing an offensive threat, a non-called foul just outside the Patriots box led to another scoring opportunity for Garcia.
While some Hofstra players were arguing the call with the referee, Garcia was able to sneak behind the Pride defense and score the game winner with just one minute remaining on the clock.
"I'm extremely disappointed with the outcome but we played extremely hard and I'm proud of the way we battled," said Nuttall.
Hofstra visited no. 11 nationally ranked and CAA leader Old Dominion University last Saturday and was sent home with one of the worst defeats of the season.
Scoreless into the thirty-fifth minute, Old Dominion forward Yannick Smith netted the only goal of the first half.
The Monarchs were able to score two more goals before Hofstra freshman midfielder Heidar Emilsson scored in the eighty-third minute.
Old Dominion answered right back with a goal one minute later to cap the 4-1 win.
Hofstra falls to 6-9 on the season and 3-6 in the CAA.