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Men's soccer wins over Brown in a thriller

A return home turned out to be exactly what was needed for the Hofstra Pride men’s soccer team as they ended a two game skid with a rousing double overtime victory over #25 Brown. The match started off quickly with both sides taking turns attacking. Jack Gorab led the charge for Brown, scoring in the 10th minute off of a rebound of a blocked shot. Senior forward Chris Griebsch orchestrated the Hofstra offensive and served as the creator for many near misses on and around the opposing goal. The first half was highlighted by back and forth action for both sides, with both Hofstra and Brown attacking. However, Brown had more quality scoring opportunities despite one less shot on goal.

The tone of the match changed significantly in the second half with Hofstra seizing possession of the ball and refusing to give it up for nearly the entire half. After 21 minutes of fending off Hofstra’s attack, Brown’s defense finally broke and allowed a game tying header by freshman Ignacio Gorrono off of a beautiful cross from fellow freshman Rory Murphy. Hofstra refused to let up even after scoring the equalizer, continuing to press the action in Brown’s half. A very near miss on what would have been the game winning header by Chris Griebsch in the 81st minute highlighted the rest of Hofstra’s chances in the second half.

The first overtime period carried the tone of the first half with back and forth action, ultimately leading to a stalemate which brought the game to its second and final overtime. In the second overtime, Hofstra regained the confidence and pressure they had in the second half, relentlessly attacking Brown’s defense, looking for any sort of opening. Ignacio Gorrono received the ball at the top of the box and put in a magnificent curling effort that won the game.

The defense particularly stood out, allowing Hofstra to hold possession and eventually the game. After allowing the early goal, Hofstra’s defense, led by senior Tyler Botte, tightened up and fended off multiple efforts by Brown to control the ball deep in Hofstra’s half. Freshman Nino Alfonso was a standout in his first start, chipping in with not only extremely solid defensive skills but also adding three shots on offense.

Five freshmen received significant playing time and helped to key the effort against Brown.

“Most of the time, we had five freshmen on the field, so I’m very, very happy with our attitude and how we kept working hard and refused to lose,” Coach Nuttall added after the game.

Giving many young players a lot of time to prove themselves against nationally ranked team seemed to embolden the Pride.  Coach Nuttall continued to describe himself as “very impressed” by the play of the freshmen.

Ignacio Gorrono had a breakthrough in more ways than one against Brown, with Coach Nuttall describing how he’s urged Ignacio to be patient.

“He has to get used to the pace of the game and the different angles and the way people play over here, it’s different to his home country,” said Coach Nuttall. Gorrono’s performance against Brown certainly seemed to indicate that he has started to apply Nuttall’s teachings to his

game.

The Pride hopes to build on their success in their upcoming games, hosting Monmouth University and the University of New Hampshire.

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