By Jeffrey Werner - Special of the chronicle
It seemed as though the University of New Hampshire Wildcats had the game locked up and there was no hope of a comeback for Hofstra. With just over 23 minutes left to play, senior forward David Schlatter scored a goal to put the Wildcats up by three. Until this point, Hofstra was having a hard time completing any shot they took, whether it was saved or missed wide. To add insult to injury, Hofstra accumulated seven fouls, including a yellow card to senior defender Daniel Grundei.
“We knew we were going up against a very good team,” Coach Richard Nuttall explained. “We had a plan to play a lot of defense and move the ball through midfield. By halftime, we needed to make some changes.”
Suddenly, a ray of hope appeared. Hofstra received a corner kick and senior midfielder and forward Elliott Firth, who was a substitute to begin the game, scored Hofstra’s first goal of the game off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Joseph Holland. It was Firth’s first goal of the season and Holland’s fifth assist of the season. From that point on, the game was different.
Immediately following the goal, the momentum swung in Hofstra’s favor. Soon, it was the Wildcats who had all the fouls and missed opportunities, even a couple of offside calls. While the Wildcats stumbled, Hofstra strived towards tying the game up. Elliot Firth scored a goal with just a little over two minutes left in the match. The goal was Firth’s second of the season.
The Pride got one last opportunity to tie the game and possibly send it into overtime. Again, Elliot Firth was the player with the ball. He managed to take one more shot less than a minute after his last goal. Unfortunately, the Wildcats goalie made a great save to diminish any hopes the Pride had of tying the game. The match ended as 3-2 loss for Hofstra. Despite missing out on a golden opportunity to help out the team, Firth still made an impressive impact on the game.
“Elliot brought a lot of energy to the second half,” Coach Nuttall said. “It was dynamic.”
Fans can look forward to the next home game as the Hofstra Pride host the Binghamton University Bearcats on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
The Pride quickly returned to action on Sunday against the University of Vermont, also on the road. But this time around, it would only take one strike to drop their opponent.
Vermont came into the game receiving votes in the NSCAA poll, meaning they are just outside the top 25 teams in the nation. But votes and numbers meant nothing on this day in Burlington, Vt.
In the 21st minute, senior Daniel Grundel received a free kick from Joseph Holland, which bounced off Elliot Firth and hit right off the foot of Grundel for the score. It was Grundel’s second goal of 2014, and was the only score of the afternoon.
Hofstra dominated overall on offense, getting off 13 shots to Vermont’s 6. Vermont pressured the Pride in the second half though, with goalie Patric Pray making four saves.
This was Hofstra’s second shutout of the season, thanks to Pray and sophomore goalie Brian McPartland playing each half, but McPartland not having to make a save on one shot.