By Marco Meglio and Anders Jorstad - Staff writers
“Defense wins championships,” goes the old cliche. If that’s the case, then perhaps the women’s soccer team is onto something.
Hofstra kicked off conference play and a two game road trip with a terrific defensive effort against Elon, walking away with a 4-1 victory. This could be seen a little bit last week as well, when the team played against Yale, but a pair of major defensive lapses cost the Pride that match.
This time, an early goal at the 9:22 mark was all the opposition would get, and the Phoenix would only take one more shot on goal for the rest of the match. A defensive performance like that will put Hofstra in a position to beat just about anyone with the kind of weapons they have on offense.
Speaking of those offensive weapons, Sam Scolarici answered Elon’s goal with goal of her own at the 17:58 mark, her 11th of the season. Her historic season continued with yet another goal later in the match.
With 12 goals so far this season she is in second place in the NCAA in total goals, just behind East Tennessee State’s Hannah Short who has 15. It’s certainly going to be exciting to see what Scolarici can do for the rest of the year.
The team’s other star forward, Leah Galton, scored her seventh goal of the season and Lulu Echeverry scored her first coming off the bench for the Pride, capping off a dominant offensive performance in the match. Hofstra made the most of its offensive opportunities with four goals out of six shots on goal.
After that promising 4-1 victory over Elon just a few days before, the Hofstra Pride were absolutely demolished in an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Tribe. While being outshot 22-7, it almost seemed like there was no way of stopping a forceful William & Mary attack.
In the first half, the Pride was under constant attack and could not move the ball effectively. The momentum favored the Tribe throughout the whole game but it was even more evident in the first half. Multiple fouls and no ball movement left Hofstra playing the rest of the game on their heels.
Ten minutes before the first half ended, Tribe defenseman Clara Logsdon received a perfect corner kick pass, in which she waited for one bounce and then struck a flaming shot into the top right corner. At this point it almost seemed imminent that one goal was going to pass through.
Heading into the second half, Hofstra was lucky that they were only down one goal. The constant barrage of shots did not weaken in the second half.
Within the first few minutes, the Tribe had already registered three shots. In the 63rd minute, the Hofstra defense broke down again.
This time forward Samantha Cordum connected on a lobbed shot from 25 out. The lobbed shot over the goalie was a result from a previous long pass, in which the defense did not react enough in time again.
As if things could not get any worse for Hofstra, within three minutes, the Tribe had already pushed another attack. This time, forward Anna Madden finished the easy opportunity from eight feet out. At this point, the game seemed out of reach and Hofstra was just doing their best to finish out strong.
In the second half the Pride even registered three more shots than the first, but none of them could find the back of the net. The rather meek two shots on goal certainly did not help their case to climb back in the game.
In the 83rd minute, Hofstra let up another aggravating and rather ill-advised goal. Defenseman Emory Camper finished a crossing header in the box to secure the victory for the Tribe. At this point they were up 4-0 and were not looking back.
This 4-0 loss will surely be something that they will look back and kick themselves for. CAA games are an extremely important, and salvaging wins is important if the team wants to have any chance of winning the conference.
Hofstra returns home on Friday to battle the James Madison Dukes. The Pride stand at 1-1 in conference play while the Dukes stand at 1-0. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.