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Hofstra drops second straight against CAA leader JMU

Hofstra drops second straight against CAA leader JMU

“I thought we were outplayed,” head coach Richard Nuttall claimed after Hofstra men’s soccer loss against powerhouse James Madison University 2-0 on Saturday, Oct. 13, in what was a huge game in terms of the Colonial Athletes Association (CAA) standings.

Both teams came into the game with plenty of success so far this season. JMU came into the game with a 7-3-2 record while Hofstra boasted a 6-4-3 record.

JMU came out firing from all cylinders in the first half, while Hofstra struggled to get anything going. “We struggled first half immensely,” Nuttall said. The Pride, failing to muster anything together against JMU’s tight defense, managed to only put up one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes.

The Dukes on the other hand, started off very aggressively and put the pressure on the Pride’s defense right off the bat. There were many opportunities for JMU to score early on.

Both teams played lockdown defense at the start of the game. There were no shots on the goal in the first 10 minutes. But Hofstra goalie, Alex Ashton, made a remarkable save in the 10th minute off of JMU’s Manuel Ferriol, inciting a crowd reaction. He later followed up with another diving attempt, keeping the game knotted at zero in the 32nd minute.

With about 15 to go in the half, Hofstra had a great chance to score, but couldn’t capitalize as the ball just rolled out of the box.

Just when it looked like the teams were headed to the half tied at zero, with just over a minute to go, JMU’s Melker Anshelm found Carson Jeffris who blasted a shot past Ashton to break the tie. This gave the Dukes a 1-0 lead into the half.

This was a huge momentum swing going into the half.

“I think we got out-competed in the first half,” Nuttall said.

The lackluster first half seemed to bring out a different response from the Pride in the second.

They seemed to be more focused and more on the attack, rather than being stuck on their own side of the field.

“I thought our energy coming out was great,” Nuttall said.

Despite Hofstra looking good to start the second, JMU’s Jeffris drew a foul in the box in the 35th minute, and the Dukes took advantage of the mistake. Ferriol netted the penalty kick and gave the Dukes a commanding 2-0 lead.

Hofstra kept fighting in the second yet couldn’t capitalize. Even though the Pride were desperate and kept their foot on the pedal for the rest of the game, Hofstra ultimately couldn’t land a goal by the end of the game.

In the loss, the Pride only had two shots on goal in the entire game.

“You don’t play with energy and desire, you don’t win games,” Nuttall said.

It was a good game overall for Hofstra’s defense, and goalie Ashton had strong play in net. The Pride showed resilience and fought back, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the 2-0 deficit.

“They were good. They were powerful and strong,” Nuttall said.

Hofstra now falls to 6-5-3, while the Dukes rise to 8-3-2.

After Hofstra’s three-game winning streak, they have now lost their last two games.

They head to North Carolina to take on Elon on Saturday, Oct. 20, looking to cook up a new winning streak.

JMU still sits atop the CAA and will take on Navy on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Picture courtesy of Cam Keough/The Hofstra Chronicle

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