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Women's soccer falters to start CAA season

By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor

 

The Hofstra University women's soccer team started its two game weekend on the right foot with a 2-1 victory over Drexel on Thursday afternoon.

"We're not stabilized quite yet," said head coach Simon Riddiough. "We have to find a way to be smarter. That's what we talked about after the game."

Drexel struck first in the twenty-first minute after a supreme through ball found the run of Jenna Lindsay, the Dragon's all-time leading scorer, who kept her shot low and beat sophomore goalkeeper Kylie Shuster.

Hofstra looked flat, lacking creativity in order to create offensive chances.  Riddiough shook the line up a bit, and brought in what proved to be the Pride's lightning bolt, freshman striker Lulu Echeverry.

"I questioned anybody's desire if they wanted to play," said Riddiough. "Lulu came in and she showed passion, desire, heart and she gave us a spark."

It was Echeverry who conjured a brilliant long pass, finding senior forward Laura Greene, who has been the Pride's main source of scoring. A short run into the box and a flick of Greene's deadly right foot knotted the score at one in the thirty-first minute.

With the sky darkening, the heavens opened up bringing heavy rain, thunder and lightning, delaying the game for 52 minutes.

As the sun finally brought new life to the game, but the teams did not as the first half ended with the 1-1 score line.

The second half proved better for the Pride as the squad was willed by a fantastic individual effort from senior midfielder Courtney Breen.

Gaining possession outside of the box, Breen took on three Drexel defenders as she made her way into the right side of the penalty area. She then picked out the run of Greene who was unmarked in the center of the box and tapped it in for the go ahead goal in the fifty-fourth minute.

Greene's two goals have continued her red hot start to the season. She has scored as many goals, 11, this season she has in her first three years for the Pride.

"She's got 11 goals in nine games," said Riddiough. "To be fair I didn't think it was a good performance by Greeney [Laura Greene], but she took the first goal fantastically. It's a goal scorer's goal. The second goal was all Courtney Breen. She had about four Drexel defenders on her shoulders when she got to the six yard box."

Drexel would not go away quietly, as wave after wave of attacks made its way to Shuster's goal, but the back line and the sophomore keeper made sure nothing passed for the rest of the match.

The win was Shuster's third straight victory in net and Hofstra's second conference win of the season.

A trip to Delaware dampened Hofstra moods as an eleven game winning streak against the Fightin' Blue Hens came to a screeching halt in a 3-2 loss.  

A back and forth game saw freshman striker Caylin Dudley star. Her first goal came in the eighteenth minute to tie the game after Delaware's opener in the fifteenth. 

Dudley was at it again 12 minutes later in the thirtieth minute during chaos on a Hofstra corner kick.

"We know her ability to strike the ball is good," said Riddiough. "If we can get her close enough to the goal, we know she is going to score plenty of goals. This is something we didn't expect this early in her career."

Delaware equalized one minute before halftime when a cross was headed into the back of the net, right in front of Shuster, who was able to get out quick enough to pick off the chance.

"I think this is a sign of our youth," said Riddiough. "Five sophomores, two freshmen, three seniors, one junior, most of those guys haven't played more than 22 college games combined. I think when that happens you can have some naivety, some immaturity, and some inexperience to kill games off."

The game winner for Delaware came in the sixty-third minute stunning Hofstra and leaving a sour taste in Riddiough's mouth.

"We were in control for most of the game," said Riddiough. "But we gave them three goals. Delaware is a decent team and they had better opportunities to score, but they didn't score on those better opportunities. The three goals we gave them were pretty disappointing."

The loss drops Hofstra to 2-2 in conference play and 6-4 overall.

"In reality we should be 4-0 [in conference]," said Riddiough. "I'm not saying we deserve to be 4-0, but the goals we've given up are elementary and bad to give up."

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