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Strong first half sets the tone against William & Mary

Strong first half sets the tone against William & Mary

The Hofstra men’s soccer team scored three goals in a span of 11 minutes in the first half against the College of William & Mary Tribe en route to a 4-0 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) victory on Saturday night at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.

Hofstra (5-3-3, 2-0-1 CAA) has now won five of their past six games.

Defense has been key to their recent success, as they have not allowed a goal in their last seven contests.

“It’s a badge of honor,” said Hofstra head coach Richard Nuttall of the streak. “We want to keep it going.”

The Tribe (2-5-1, 0-1-1 CAA) had a couple of chances to end Hofstra’s shutout bind in the first half thanks to some nifty moves by Cole Smith and Antonio Bustamante, but Hofstra goalie Alex Ashton made two saves to keep William & Mary off the scoreboard.

Ashton finished the game with four saves.

William & Mary were able to keep the Pride scoreless for the first 25 minutes, but putting the ball in the net would become contagious for Hofstra later in the opening half.

Sophomore George O’Malley opened the scoring with a goal in the 27th minute of the first half off a pass from Sean Nealis.

In the 34th minute, Matthew Vowinkel bounced the ball in off the inside of the right goalpost after a long, cross-pitch pass from Marcus Lindqvist to put the Pride ahead 2-0.

Vowinkel found the back of the net again moments later, cashing in off a cross from Storm Strongin, extending Hofstra’s lead to 3-0.

“We got back to doing what we do best, defending well and getting the ball in the box,” Nuttall said.

With the Tribe trailing 3-0, Sam Onyeador replaced Connor Andrews in goal for William & Mary in the second half.

William & Mary had a chance to score on a penalty shot in the first five minutes of the second half, but a wall of Hofstra defenders kept the ball out of the net and kept the Tribe off the scoreboard.

Luke Brown padded the Pride’s lead with a goal in the 55th minute when Jacob Göker served the ball into the box, and Peter Meyer set Brown up for the score.

Even with the game in hand, Hofstra kept the defensive pressure up for the remainder of contest in an effort tp preserve the shutout.

“I’m really pleased with the level of performance, the finishing and the character of our team,” Nuttall said.

The Pride will look to continue their shutdown defense and extend their shutout streak to eight games next Saturday when they travel to face CAA rival University of Delaware.

 Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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