The Pride took its second consecutive loss in conference play Sunday afternoon as the Delaware women’s soccer team held on to an early surge after scoring two goals in the first 35 minutes of game time.
Delaware dominated in time of possession, leading to 15 shots compared to Hofstra’s nine, with an incredible 11 of those 15 being shots on goal.
The fast start by the Blue Hens began as Madison Brosler reeled in the corner kick from Mikala Kin and sent it to the back of the net in the 15th minute. Following a couple of unsuccessful equalizing attempts by Hofstra’s Jill Mulholland, Delaware connected once more on a single-handed effort by senior forward Natalie Zelenky.
Zelenky, the leading goal scorer for this team, had threatened on quite a few occasions, most memorably in the 31st minute as she broke away from the defense but directed the shot right into the goalkeeper’s hands.
This time however, she made sure to make it count and gave the Blue Hens a dominant 2-0 lead as the half was coming to an end.
Although the slow start for the Pride and a couple of missed shots by Mulholland, Hofstra’s undisputed leader couldn’t be kept off the board. Four minutes before the end of the half, Mulholland was able to dribble to the middle of the field and drill one past the keeper to score the first goal in the game for the Pride, as well as in conference play following the 3-0 loss to Drexel.
With this goal, the Pride went into the half with some momentum and only looking at a 2-1 deficit.
The two-goalie approach was in play for yet another week for the Pride, with Friederike Mehring stepping on the pitch for the 2nd half of play after Ashley Wilson played the entirety of the first.
Lackluster play continued for Hofstra on the defensive side of the ball throughout the second half. Delaware was able to keep a constant attack firing six shots in contrast to Hofstra’s two. If it weren’t for Mehring’s six saves, the Blue Hens could have pulled away with ease, as Hofstra seemed out of sync for yet another half of crucial conference play.
Mulholland had one more valiant effort in the 64th minute as she sent a strong header headed for the goal that ended up being saved on an outstanding effort by Delaware’s Kailyn Rekos, who ended a strong game with four saves and only one goal against.
The Pride’s slow start in conference play is an unexpected occurrence after a pretty strong stretch of games in non-conference games resulting in a 6-2-1 record.
The 2-1 loss will serve as a building block for Hofstra as the Pride tries to figure out a way to end up on the winning side of the scoreboard for the first time this season.