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Men's soccer's dramatics continue

By Alex Hyman, Staff Writer

 

The overtime session has become a big part of Hofstra men's soccer games over the past few weeks as the team has now gone into extra time in three consecutive games.

Hofstra hosted Big Ten opponent Penn State University on Tuesday night looking for their first win since October 19.

The Pride had to play without its star center back, sophomore Shaun Foster, due to a red card he picked up during the team's match against William and Mary. Sophomore defender Tyler Botte started in his place and played a tremendous game.

"His play was great and I'm very happy with him," said head coach Richard Nuttal. "He won 90 percent of his headers and almost all of his tackles."

The Nittany Lions of Penn State had the first scoring chance of the match in the fifth minute after a Hofstra turnover, but sophomore goalkeeper Roberto Pellegrini came running out of the box to knock the ball out of bounds.

Penn State had a few more opportunities in the first half but none better than in the fourteenth minute when it took a great defensive play from freshman defender Tommi Kjartansson who saved an empty net and deflected the ball out of bounds.

Just before halftime, Pellegrini made one of the saves of the year when it looked like a sure goal from a wide-open Nittany Lion when he dove to his left and was able to deflect the ball over the bar to keep the score at 0-0.

"The save was almost world class, just magnificent", said Nuttall.

Hofstra had no scoring chances in the first half and was completely dominated. Penn State outshot the Pride 10-1 but Pellegrini's heroics kept the game scoreless.

Nuttall decided to make a change of formation for the second half and the game was much more evenly played.

The Nittany Lions did strike first, however, when forward Mackenzie Arment took a pass off of a Hofstra turnover and deposited it into the back of the net.

The score remained 1-0 into the eighty-second minute when sophomore midfielder Chris Griebsch took a free kick from 30 yards out. He sent a low ball through the Nittany Lion defense, which found the right foot of Botte who one-touched it into the net. It was Botte's third goal of the season and Griebsch's ninth assist and team high seventeenth point.

Freshman striker Maid Memic had an opportunity to net the game winner in the eighty-eighth minute but his shot was deflected by the Penn State backline. The Nittany Lions had a chance of their own in the ninetieth minute, but Pellegrini made one last save to send the game into extra time.

Penn State had a few chances but could not record a shot on net in the first overtime. With just one minute remaining in the first overtime, Penn State thought they had the game winner but was denied by another brilliant Pellegrini save. The rebound deflected directly to a Nittany Lion forward that headed it into the net, but was ruled offside's by the sideline official.

Hofstra had one shot in the second overtime but it missed the net and the game ended with a 1-1 tie, which is an improvement from its recent play of losing six of its last seven matches.

Over the weekend, the Pride traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia to battle The College of William & Mary.

Hofstra went down 1-0 early but Griebsch capitalized on a penalty kick to tie the match at one. Foster received his red card early in the second half and the Pride had to play man-down for the remainder of the match.

Down a man, the Pride was still able to take the lead in the seventy-ninth minute when a Griebsch corner kick found the head of Kjartansson who gave the Pride the lead. In the eighty-fifth minute, the Tribe netted the equalizer sending the game into overtime.

The Tribe took advantage of a scoring chance in the ninety-seventh minute to cap off the 3-2 overtime win.

Hofstra stands at 6-10-1 on the season and has one match remaining. The final game of the season takes place this weekend when the Pride hosts the Dukes of James Madison University. 

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