By Marco Meglio and Gio Annatelli - STAFF WRITER AND SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
Hofstra men’s soccer continued its winning streak with a series of victories starting with Wake Forest by the narrow score of 1-0. Then with a 3-0 shutout win against William & Mary College later in the week, the Pride improved to 7-3-2. Hofstra is now rolling with a five-game winning streak, shutting out all five teams.
Hofstra snapped Wake Forest’s two-game winning streak and six-game winning streak at home.
The first half of the game was strong defensively for both teams as both were held to one shot on goal each. Hofstra’s back line was led by senior Daniel Grundei and sophomore Rory Murphy and both players made a strong stand through their aggressive plays, especially when the game was on the line.
The scoreless game was broken in the 49th minute when Wake Forest’s Sam Fink was issued a yellow card in the box, which set up senior forward Maid Memic for an easy penalty kick goal. This was Memic’s second straight game with a goal and he leads the team with four on the season.
Wake Forest dominated the shot ratio with 19 compared to Hofstra’s eight, but the statistic was not that separated in shots on goal, with Wake Forest only having four compared to Hofstra’s three. Hofstra also struggled in the foul category, with 17 fouls versus Wake Forest’s six fouls.
The Deamon Deacons had a chance in the 82nd minute on Ian Harke’s shot but the defense made a key save. They also had a chance with 1:11 left on the clock, but Tane Gent’s shot was saved by Hofstra goalie Patric Pray.
Pray, a junior goalkeeper for the Pride, has been stellar as of late. Not only being named CAA player of the week, this was his third straight game with a shutout and his eighth career shutout. He had four saves on the night and this was Hofstra’s fourth straight game with a shutout since 2005.
Next, the team erupted for three goals against William & Mary to keep their winning streak intact. The five-game winning streak could not have come at a better point in the season. With games against Delaware, James Madison and Drexel coming up, the momentum will surely help the Pride.
Hofstra controlled almost all areas in the game against the Tribe. For starters, their defense was absolutely stellar, allowing only seven shots to be taken, none of which had any real potential for a goal. Early in the first half, defenseman Daniel Grundei took a hard fall and was substituted out for Marius Flateboe. Flateboe filled in just fine and was a catalyst for the defense for the rest of the game.
Although the defense was top notch, the offense looked unstoppable. Midfielder Maid Memic had one of the more outstanding performances. He got the Pride started by striking a ball into the top left side of the goal to give them a 1-0 lead. He then added an assist later on in the game.
Hofstra’s ball movement and quick cuts allowed the possession arrow to point in their direction for almost the entire game, and they got after the ball as well. It seemed that Tribe players had little to no time to react or make any quality opportunity for a goal. The Pride’s second goal was the result of a fantastic crossing ball struck by Rory Murphy into the box. Meshack Eshun Addy took full advantage of this well placed ball and redirected it to put the Pride up 2-0.
At this point, the Pride had gained full control of the game. Many of the William & Mary players began to sink their heads and look discouraged. As if it could not get any worse for the Tribe, Danny Elliot decided to get in on the scoring action.
Undoubtedly the shot of the night, this one was cannoned from 35 yards out, right passed the reach of goalie Bennett Jones. The final dagger forced the Tribe to pull Jones in favor for senior Alex Harrington.
When asked about the five straight wins, all coming in shutout fashion Coach Nuttall said, “The team defense was solid… they have the confidence and mentality to stop anyone right now.”
The Pride will look to make it six straight wins this Wednesday when they go on the road to face CAA rival Delaware.