By PJ Potter and Jared Goodman - Specials to the Chronicle
In a battle between two CAA rivals fighting to stay above .500, the James Madison University (JMU) Dukes defeated the Hofstra Pride 3-1 to improve to 7-5.
In what was a ceremonial night for head coach Simon Riddiough, celebrating his 100th career win back on Aug. 31 against St. Joseph’s, there was something more to focus on. Still mindful of the conference tournament loss last season to JMU, Hofstra went into Friday night’s game seeking revenge on the Dukes.
Jeannine Molleda kicked off the game with a 6th minute score, earning her first goal of the season. Amber Stobbs was credited with the assist from her cross on the right wing. JMU played from behind until the 30th minute, when Kelly Abt netted the ball after it bounced off the right side of the crossbar and rolled past the goal line – a near impossible shot to save. Ashley Herndon fed the ball to Abt for the assist.
From that point forward, the Dukes controlled the game. The offense found their way into Hofstra’s box numerous times, including the 51st minute. Katie Hyland crossed the ball to Herndon and this time she was rewarded with the goal, which would be the game-winning score for JMU. To tack on insurance, JMU’s Kelly Kerrigan took advantage of Hofstra’s defensive mishap in the 69th minute to add to her team’s lead, making the score 3-1.
Leah Galton, Hofstra’s forward, left the pitch in the 60th minute due to injury. Coach Riddiough said she “turned her ankle a little bit” and believes she “will come back with a vengeance.” Lulu Echeverry replaced her for the remainder of the match.
James Madison’s speed down the field led to 15 shots, seven of them on goal compared to Hoftra’s four shots on target out of eight attempts. Ellen Forrest made three saves for the Dukes. Hofstra’s goalie, Friederike Mehring, had four.
After the tough loss on Friday night, the Pride hosted the Towson Tigers at Hofstra Soccer Stadium and earned a much-needed victory. The Pride bounced back in a critical 1-0 victory against Towson.
The team improved to 7-6 record, with a 2-2 record in CAA conference play.
Going into the game, the Pride held an impressive 16-2-1 record, winning 11 of their previous 12 matchups against Towson.
In their most recent gathering, senior forward Sam Scolarici netted two goals, including the game winner in the 88th minute, in a victory at Towson last season.
In their meeting on Sunday, Hofstra got off to a quick start, controlling the ball early, which led to a classic Leah Galton and Scolarici combination. In the 4th minute, Galton crossed the ball from the left corner perfectly to Scolarici’s foot, as she drilled the ball into the top right corner of the goal.
The Pride kept the pressure on Towson’s side of the pitch for most of the first half. Their efforts led to nine shots, including four on goal and three saves by Towson goalie Erin Quinn.
The Pride dominated offensively, managing to create five corner kicks. In contrast, the Tigers were only able to generate three shots, none on net, and were not given a corner.
Towson goalie Erin Quinn was busy all day as she fought to keep her team in the match. She totaled nine saves, including an impressive diving save in the 47th minute that came off the foot of Hofstra freshman midfielder Emily Hulbert.
The Pride continued their offensive pressure all game, adding another 10 shots in the second half that included five on goal.
The Tigers were never able to create a comfortable lead. From Scolarici’s volley goal in the 4th minute, the Pride held complete control of the contest.
When asked about his team’s performance after losing on Friday, coach Simon Riddiough expressed, “They were awesome. Towson had really athletic and talented players, and to keep them with no shots on goal is a testament to the back four.”
The Pride are now preparing for their difficult matchup with Northeastern next Saturday, Oct. 11, at Hofstra. The Northeastern Huskies come into the matchup on a five-game winning streak, and first place in the conference with a 4-0 CAA record, 9-3-2 overall.