The Hofstra women’s soccer team held onto their slim playoff hopes on Friday after defeating the James Madison University Dukes in a 4-1 rout at Hofstra Soccer Stadium. With the win, Hofstra improves to 3-5 in CAA play and 9-7-1 overall.
“I thought we played extremely well and deserved the win,” said head coach Simon Riddiough. “We’re confident. That’s a very good James Madison team.”
In a must-win game, at first Hofstra came out of the gate flat-footed. James Madison was able to capitalize on the Pride’s lack of energy to find the back of the net in the second minute, before some fans could even find their seats.
CAA Preseason Player of the Year Ashley Herndon was credited for her 10th goal of the season off an assist from Haley Crawford.
The Dukes’ opening goal triggered the Pride to increase its energy – and it showed. Hofstra came down the field on the ensuing possession, generating offensive chance after offensive chance. Senior Jill Mulholland danced past multiple defenders as she sent a curved shot from 20 yards away into the left corner of the net for her 11th goal of the season.
The Pride controlled the offensive zone and picked up momentum after Mulholland’s strike, which led to a corner kick from senior Emily Agudelo. The Long Beach native sent a kick towards the middle of the goal box where sophomore Madeline Anderson headed one home to give the Pride the lead just two minutes after tying the game.
“She was fantastic tonight on both sides of the ball and even mentally,” Riddiough said about Agudelo’s performance. “She wasn’t going to let us down. That’s a testament for a senior who can be playing the last few games in college.”
The Pride dominated the second best team in the conference as it entered halftime up 2-1 on the scoreboard and 11-6 in shots attempted.
“Confidence is a huge factor,” Riddiough said. “It’s all about confidence.”
The Pride’s confidence was low after the team lost four in a row, digging a deep hole to climb out of in the conference. But, it returned home for the final stretch of the season and have played some of its strongest games all year against powerhouse teams like Northeastern University and James Madison.
Junior Noriana Radwan added insurance in the second half when she sent a free kick from the middle of the field that sank past the fingertips of James Madison goalkeeper Hannah McShea.
Mulholland put the nail in the Dukes’ coffin when she scored her second of the game in the 78th minute off a beautiful feed from Sabrina Barton. This play too, started with an Agudelo corner kick.