By: Joe Pantorno (Editor-in-Chief) Two goals from sophomore forward Jonel Boileau and one from senior midfielder Micaela Gallagher gave Hofstra field hockey a 3-1 opening day victory over Fairfield on Friday afternoon.
“It’s thrilling to get our first win,” said head coach Katy De Angelis. “I think we played very well…I have to commend Fairfield. I thought they played a great match against us.”
The game looked to be a defensive stalemate as both teams, especially Fairfield, were known for their skill at the backline.
Hofstra however, had an old face making a debut on defense, former forward Krizia Layne joined seniors Kerry Kiddoo and Melissa McCarthy to protect the goal of junior Kaitlyn De Turo, who is taking over the starting goalkeeping job this season.
Hofstra’s three proved to be an immovable object as Layne displayed the athleticism and knowledge of a seasoned vet, committing smart challenges and breaking down the Fairfield offense at vital times. Kiddoo and McCarthy were as solid as ever.
“She [Layne] was just the anchor of the team,” said De Angelis. “She added so much composure. Great speed, great finesse. She came up with some huge, huge plays.”
Hofstra’s breakthrough came 12 minutes into the game when she pounced on a rebound in front of goal to put away her first of the season. All eyes will be on the forward as she will try to be the Pride’s main source of scoring.
“We know she can score and we have to feed her the ball more,” said De Angelis. “For her to score two goals today is fantastic.”
“Goals are always a good thing I guess,” said Boileau. “To start off the year with two goals is awesome…I think it’s the start of many, I hope.”
Fairfield was quick to equalize seven minutes later as the 1-1 score line carried into the second half.
Hofstra dominated from the restart, recording 10 shots in the second half as opposed to four in the first.
“We had to step it up,” said De Angelis. “You’re not going to win games if you’re putting the ball in the net a couple of times in a half. Coming into the half we made it our goal to put shots on the net and make the goalkeeper move.
Boileau grabbed her second of the game after freshman Lauren Del Valle, who also sang the national anthem beautifully before the game, made a run down the left side and delivered a crossing pass that was tipped in by the sophomore.
“We moved the ball so well in the second half, much better than we did in the first half,” said De Angelis. “That definitely added to the offense.”
“Del Valle for her first game did an awesome job, there’s a lot of pressure coming in,” said Boileau. “She played an awesome pass and played with a lot of confidence.”
Fairfield was not without their chances. The Stags had eight penalty corners, but could not capitalize as the Hofstra defense was quick to shut down any chances. If there was a time when the backline bent, De Turo came up with some very athletic saves.
“This was just an exciting game for DT [De Turo],” said De Angelis. “She looked like a national team goaltender. Her athletic ability, her clears today, all of them were tremendous.”
Hofstra had six penalty corners and managed to capitalize on one with 14 minutes left in the game when Gallagher sent a low shot with plenty of pace that was deflected into the back of the net.
“I’m so proud of how we performed,” said De Angelis. “To see how dangerous we are with so much practice left…it was really nice to see.”
“I thought it was an awesome game on our part,” said Boileau. “To start the season off with a win is always nice.”
The Pride is next in action Sunday at 1 p.m. against Monmouth.