A fantastic run through the CAA Tournament ended for the Hofstra men’s soccer team over the weekend as the no. 4 ranked Pride fell to no. 2 ranked Northeastern Huskies in the conference final.
The Pride (11-6-4) defeated the no. 1 ranked Drexel Dragons in a penalty shootout two days prior, making it the Pride’s second straight victory decided by penalties.
All signs were pointing to a third straight penalty shootout but Northeastern’s Don Anding, the CAA player of the year, deposited a curling shot into the back of the net in the second overtime to give the Huskies a 1-0 win, sending Northeastern to the NCAA tournament.
“We had a shaky start but we held firm,” Hofstra head coach Richard Nuttall said. “I thought we defended really well and didn’t give them any clear chances in the second half.”
The Huskies controlled the pace throughout regulation but could not capitalize on a number of scoring chances. Northeastern outshot the Pride 20-7, including a potential game-winning goal being waved off the scoreboard because of a foul.
Senior goalkeeper Adam Janowski played very well to keep the Pride in the game. He finished the contest with seven saves.
“Janowski has done everything very well and then a little more and that’s what you want out of a keeper,” Nuttall said. “He made two fantastic saves.”
The Pride also had its chances to notch a game-winning goal but could not seem to find the net as it only got one shot on goal throughout regulation and overtime.
The Pride’s best chance came in the second half when Northeastern goalie was
called for a handball just outside the 18-yard box. Freshman midfielder Joseph Holland, the CAA rookie of the year, took the free kick from just outside the box but his shot sailed high.
Junior midfielder Herbert Biste also had a prime opportunity to give the Pride the lead in the second half as a bouncing ball fell right at his feet. Biste’s shot, however also failed to find the target on the volley.
“We are proud of what we achieved,” Nuttall said. “I am very disappointed but I am very proud of the team and the way we played.”
The defense played very strong as they have all season long. Led by CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year Shaun Foster, the backline thwarted all Northeastern chances until the final strike in the second overtime. Foster and senior Stephan Barea were both named to the All-Championship team for the tournament.
“I think Northeastern were a little more dynamic than us today and I believe they are the best team in the conference and they deserve the championship,“ said Nuttall.