By Mike Rudin – SPORTS EDITOR The Hofstra Pride women’s soccer team took down the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens in a 3-0 shutout at home to extend their streak without any losses to five straight games on Friday night.
The Pride offense showered the game with shots, outscoring Delaware 29-8 overall and quadrupling the number of shots on target, 16-4, in 90 minutes.
“I thought it was nice, solid performance by everybody,” said head coach Simon Riddiough. “Delaware is a good team. They like to play around, they’re technically very good and athletically strong. But they couldn’t play at our pace."
Sophomore Kristin Desmond broke the ice with the first goal of the night in the fifth minute. Jeanine Molleda provided the setup with the cross from left side and Desmond fired the header to put pass the defense and reached the net.
Both teams played the ball in no-man’s land in the middle of field periodically throughout the first half until Hofstra stitched some offensive drives in between.
The Pride defense and goalie, Friederike Mehring, kept Delaware off the board when they tried to capitalize. Mehring started on the right foot, making the first save of the game in the first four minutes.
The contest was a battle between Hofstra’s offense versus Delaware’s defense.
Delaware’s goalie, Kelsey O’Donnell, kept her team in contention with 13 saves altogether – five of which came in the first half alone – but she could only help defend as much as possible.
The Pride’s Jamie Delany took the ball and ran with it until she scored her first goal of her colligate career in a Hofstra uniform, extending the Pride’s lead to 2-0.
History was made on both sides of the scoring drive since Leah Galton provided the assist which tied the program career record. Galton has 26 assists in a Pride uniform, the first time since Jerilyn Marinan finished her colligate career with 26 in 2000.
By Halftime, Hofstra strolled off the field with confidence, having a two-goal lead over Delaware and keeping the Fightin’ Blue Hens’ offense at bay. Delaware had two shots in total in the first 45 minutes with only one on target.
The Pride fired 13 shots in the first 45 minutes and kicked it up a notch in the next 45.
By the second half, Hofstra’s offense bombarded the Delaware defense and put O’Donnell to the test. She made eight saves in the second half to not let Hofstra produce a blowout game.
O’ Donnell even took a bullet shot to the face from Leah Galton in the 59th minute.
Later on, the Delaware goalie took a hard knock that required medical attention for several minutes but she returned to her feet and continued to defend her post.
But the Pride made one last goal thanks to Long Island native, Jenn Buoncore. She received a cross from Jill Mulholland and Buoncore put the ball in the back of the net in the 71st minute as insurance.
Delaware’s offense tried to step up their game in an attempt to catch up but Hofstra’s defense crippled any chances. Frederike Mehring put up three more saves by the end of the game to secure the win.
Hofstra drained out the time, killing any Delaware drive by keeping the ball in the midfield and away from the feet of any Fightin’ Blue Hens players.
Once the clock hit zero, Hofstra’s conference record improved to 6-1-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association and their overall record went up to 12-4-1.
The Pride sit on top of the CAA standings with 19 team points, William & Mary sits right on their tail by one point.
Hofstra can stay on pace to take first place in the standings as well as home-field advantage during CAA tournament time if they win their last conference matchup of the 2015 season.
The Pride’s next matchup will be the 2015 regular season finale as well as Senior Day against Drexel University on Sunday at 1 p.m.