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Men's soccer looks to repeat as CAA champs, earn return trip to NCAA's

The Hofstra men’s soccer team made great strides throughout the 2015 season and postseason. The Pride brought home the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship title for the first time in nine years, and advanced all the way to the second round of the NCAA Championship before falling to Georgetown, 3-0. Head coach Richard Nuttall is entering his 28th season at Hofstra and received the honor of CAA coach of the year. And rising senior Joseph Holland, who was named CAA player of the year, is entering his final season.

The Pride bid farewell to goal keeper Patric Pray, defender Daniel Grundei, midfielder Felix Schaefer, and defender Marius Flateboe. Therefore these freshmen have some big shoes to fill including defender Haakon Wik Heltne, midfielder Oscar Ramsay, midfielder Connor Selwood, forward Luke Brown, and defender Genarro Vilardi.

Hofstra fans are going to see some rising seniors take the field for one last season, including midfielder Nino Alfonso, midfielder Andreas Isosifides, midfielder/ defender Rory Murphy, midfielder/ defender Lerthon Theuma, midfielder Joseph Holland, and defender Harri Hawkins. These seniors were instrumental in the success of the previous season.

Hofstra men’s soccer posted a 14-8-0 overall record for the season; 6-2-0 in the CAA, and 8-6-0 in the non-conference portion of the schedule.

The Pride kicked the season off with a win at home over Syracuse University Orange. Joseph Holland shot the first goal of the season and Henry Crayton followed up with the second five minutes later. Hofstra won the next three against University of Vermont, Army West Point and St. Johns University but this winning streak was cut short in Washington, D.C at American University where they lost 0-2. They regrouped and posted two more wins against George Mason University and University of North Carolina Wilmington, suffered a 0-3 loss at Dartmouth College and finished off September with an impressive 5-1 win over Drexel University.

Moving into October midseason, CAA match ups came into play for the Hofstra Pride. They went on to defeat William and Mary College 1-0, lose to Duke University 2-3, defeat Delaware 1-0 and Northeastern 2-1, lose to College of Charleston 0-1 and Coastal Carolina 1-2, defeat Elon University 1-0, and lose to their local Long Island rivals Stony Brook 0-3.

They lost in an away game in Virginia at James Madison University but to the win at home immediately following that taking out the semi-finals of the CAA Championships.

The Pride had a very dynamic momentum throughout the regular season but things heated up at the CAA Championship last year versus the University of Delaware. The Pride had the 528 spectators in attendance on their feet on a sunny afternoon at the Hofstra University Soccer Stadium to witness the highlight of the players’ careers. Nino Alfonso and Joseph Holland found the back of the net and the Pride sent the Blue Hens back to Delaware with no goals.

Hofstra defeated Lehigh University 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA Championships however the Georgetown Hoyas brought an end to their experience at the national level when they defeated the Pride 3-0.

Looking forward the Pride will be taking on a very different schedule this coming season with match ups against UNC Charlotte, Boston College, Harvard University, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, and Binghamton University. Based off of last year’s performances, there is a lot to look forward to for this 2016 season.

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