By Jeffrey Werner - STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra Pride field hockey claimed a 6-3 victory over Rider University on Sunday, Oct. 19. Prior to the start of the game, the Pride honored one of their former players battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Jillian Geysen was a Hofstra field hockey player and class of 2013 graduate. She was a three-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award, two-time member of the Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll, and part of the 2009 National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad. Geysen majored in Health Science and aspires to be an anesthesiologist. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past summer and is undergoing treatment.
Hofstra decided to honor Geysen by holding a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Awareness Day during their home match against Rider University. Before the game, Jillian was invited to make a speech before the game started. In addition, she served as an honorary coach for the game and t-shirts and bracelets were sold to raise money to defray the cost of Jillian’s medical treatment, raising a total of $1,600. The Pride will continue to sell t-shirts and bracelets for the remainder of the season.
“It’s overwhelming, in a good way,” Jillian explained. “I feel so much love, so much support for a very hard part of my life.”
Coach DeAngelis explained her excitement of having Jillian back at Field Hockey Stadium.
“It was so great to have Jillian and her family back. It was quite a privilege.”
The Pride looked to make a statement early. They started out by scoring three goals. Jonel Boileau scored the first goal at 1:46 for her 11th this season. Colby Hussong assisted the goal.
Eighteen minutes later, it was Schoen sisters who put the Pride up 2-0. Simca set up her sister Stella. This wouldn’t be the last time we see Stella making an impact on the game.
At 26:02, Hofstra extended their lead to 3-0 with a goal by Charlotte Loehr for her eighth on the season. Stella Schoen assisted the goal.
Even though things were looking bad for Rider University, the Broncs wouldn’t be counted out. The Hofstra defense looked as though they collapsed as Rider responded with three goals of their own to tie up the game. Two of which were near the end of the first half and the third was at the beginning of the second half.
“It was really simple,” Coach DeAngelis spoke of her defense. “We told them you have to play better defense.”
It seemed to have worked, as the Pride defense was able to keep the Broncs from scoring the remainder of the game. The great defense allowed the Pride to go ahead and score three more goals to officially put the game away. Carissa Witmer, Stella Schoen, and Claudia Marin-Samper each scored one of the three goals that lead the Pride to a 6-3 victory.
Fans can look forward to Friday, Oct. 24, for the next game as Hofstra travels to Towson take on CAA opponent Towson University.