By Alex Hyman, Staff Writer
The Hofstra University men's soccer team was as hot as it could be when it hosted Virginia Commonwealth University on Saturday night.
The Rams were looking to improve its 1-2 conference record while Hofstra was looking to continue its stellar play.
"I thought we played very well for the first 75 minutes," said head coach Richard Nuttall. "I was extremely pleased because VCU is very talented and I thought we were by far the better side and I thought we were going to win the game."
The defenses were the story of the game, as Hofstra, led by sophomore defender Shaun Foster, who was very busy on the back line breaking apart the VCU offense despite a minor injury.
"Shaun's outstanding. He's a quality player," said Nuttall. "He reads the game very well, he's a leader, a great player and he's got a very bright future in the game. He's played with a slightly pulled hamstring and I'm surprised he made it through the entire game."
Scoreless into the seventy-sixth minute, Hofstra freshman defender Tommi Kjartansson headed one over the head of goalkeeper Roberto Pellegrini and into his own goal. It was the second time this season that the Pride has scored on its own net.
Hofstra tried to push its attack forward in order to find the equalizer but, like many of these situations, an emphasis and pressing of the offense leaves the opportunities for quick and deadly counter-attacks.
VCU did just that in the eighty-sixth minute when a free kick caught the Pride napping as Jason Johnson sent his shot over Pellegrini to double Hofstra's deficit.
Just minutes later, VCU was on the counter attack yet again with some crisp, pin-point passing found the run of Yoram Mwila who unleashed a low, screaming strike that found the back of the net for the 3-0 VCU win.
"We tried to push forward after the own goal and they exposed us at the back," said Nuttall. "In terms of playing we outshot a very good team."
The Pride outshot the Rams 15-9 but could not find the back of the net. Junior midfielder Mike Annarumma led the team with four shots and freshman midfielder Maid Memich had two of his own.
"We had six, seven or eight very good chances and we didn't take them," said Nuttall. "Because of that we don't have the upper hand and the own goal turned the tide of the game. I'm not too dismayed about the play of the game just very upset by the result."
Hofstra dropped to 5-5 on the season and 2-2 in CAA play.
On Wednesday night, the Pride welcomed the Northeastern Huskies. In the 14th minute, Hofstra got on the board first when freshman Shady Saleh found sophomore Tyler Botte who chipped one over the Huskie goalkeeper and into the back of the net. After tying the game 10 minutes later, the Huskies took the lead in the 36th minute. In the 83rd minute, Northeastern netted another shot to give them a 3-1 lead. The Pride tried to fight back five minutes later when a pass from sophomore Chris Griebsch found the head of sophomore Shaun Foster who made the game 3-2. That was the last score of the game however and the Pride dropped its second straight home game.
For the second straight game the Pride outshot its opponent. They finished with 17 shots compared to just nine from the Huskies.
The Pride is in action once again over the weekend when they travel to Delaware. The Pride's record falls to 2-3 in the CAA and 5-6 overall.