In just one week, the Hofstra women’s soccer team has improved its form to CAA Champion standards and the team is optimistic in regards to the rest of the season. Starting off a weekend of games, Hofstra took on Monmouth University on Friday, Sept. 13. The Monmouth Hawks came into the game 5-0, but took their first loss to the Pride, 2-1.
“I think we have the making for a really good team now,” said head coach Simon Riddiough. “We’ve got to stay healthy and prepare properly, but when we do we are successful.”
Hofstra came into the matchup on a two-game win streak, both wins being shutouts. The Pride seemed to carry this momentum right into the beginning of the game, as it took them just over one minute to strike. Sam Scolarici intercepted a cross from Amber Stobbs and scored her CAA leading eighth goal of the season.
As the first half wore on, Hofstra established total defensive dominance, barely allowing Monmouth to get any chances, with only one shot on goal during the first half. The Pride got to the net six times, with a few saves needed by Hawks goalie Ashley Lewis.
Halfway through the first, Hofstra added an insurance goal in an unprecedented situation from Ruby Staplehurst. Staplehurst was to take a free kick from just beyond midfield, but as the ball sailed toward the goal, it never caught any heads or hands and floated in.
“Ruby’s play was quite fortunate, though it was a great strike,” said Riddiough. “But I think the other team would say we were very fortunate for that to have happened.”
Anyone who watched this matchup knew that Hofstra was dominant starting midway through the second half. It seemed as if every time the Hawks moved to Pride goalie Emily Morphitis, they would be stopped. But finally in the 72nd minute, the silence was broken when Monmouth’s Breynn Collazo booted the ball into the net on a rebound stop by Morphitis.
For a short amount of time it seemed like Monmouth had Hofstra on the defensive, getting six shots mostly in the latter end of the second half. But the Pride was able to efficiently run out the clock and win 2-1.
On Sunday, Hofstra went on the road to take on the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, a team that was 1-4-1 coming into the game. The game ended up being a stalemate nearly throughout, but the one and only score came in the 36th minute.
Kelly Cummings headed in a corner kick from Ruby Staplehurts for her first goal of the season, and the only one the Pride would need to top the struggling Bonnies. Though the score indicates a close contest, Bonaventure lagged far behind Hofstra as they were outshot 13-4.
Both of the weekend’s games featured injury scares for Hofstra. In the St. Bonaventure game, increasingly impressive goalie, Emily Morphitis left in the eighth minute, though backup Friederike Mehring was able to post a shutout for her 82 minutes in goal. Morphitis’ status for their next game at St. Joseph’s is unknown.
“Emily does a great job of game management,” said Riddiough, before Morphitis was injured. “She slows the game down and definitely has many strengths.”
In their game against Monmouth, Hofstra saw two injury worries, starting with Amber Stobbs who took a hard fall on top of the ball late in the first half. Stobbs would return for the second half, but did not play in their game against St. Bonaventure. Also injured in the game was Ingrid Moyer, who had to be helped off the field, and also didn’t play against the Bonnies.
Hofstra’s four-game winning streak lands them two games over .500 with a 5-3 record. Their next game is at Saint Joseph’s University, who is currently 4-2-2. The Pride doesn’t return home until September 27th against CAA opponent UNC Wilmington.