Strong first half unable to push Field hockey past Northeastern
It was a tale of two halves for Hofstra field hockey at home against the Northeastern University Huskies. The Pride were able to maintain a tie for the first half and looked in good position to earn a much-needed win against a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent. However, fatigue and a record amount of penalty corners allowed the Huskies to pull away in the second half for a 5-2 win. The loss drops Hofstra to 3-11 (1-2 CAA) and brings Northeastern to 4-8 (2-1 CAA).
Hofstra got off to one of their quickest starts of the season, as Madison Sauve was able to score off of an assist by Cami Larsson on a penalty corner within the first five minutes. This was one of two goals for Sauve, who later scored on a breakaway in the first half. The goal brought Sauve’s season total to three.
Despite Hofstra’s early success on offense, they were very limited on opportunities. They weren’t able to run the aggressive, offensive style they like to employ because Northeastern was active on defense to snuff out their approach. On top of this, the Huskies were able to control the possession of the ball, as it was rarely able to leave Hofstra’s defensive end.
The stat that most clearly exhibits Northeastern’s possession dominance was penalty corners. While Hofstra earned a modest seven penalty corners, Northeastern exhausted their playbook, taking a school-record 18 penalty corners. They were able to get them in bunches, including four corners in a five-minute stretch, as well as multiple other times where they notched three corners within a minute.
The Hofstra defense was able to stay stout, all things considered. With so many corners that brought on goal-scoring opportunities, holding the Huskies to four goals in 18 attempts is worth crediting, especially for Betty Bosma and Meredith Pfennig. Pfennig was able to make multiple plays to thwart rushes from Northeastern while constantly staying involved on the defensive end.
As for Bosma, she was able to corral in 12 saves. This is the third game that she has been able to make more than 10 saves in her young career. The saves bring her CAA-leading totals above 100, as she now has 107 saves on the season with four games remaining.
Northeastern seemed to have had production from everyone on the offensive end. While Hofstra was able to hold their goal leader – June Curry-Lindahl – scoreless, the Huskies were able to get five goals from five different players. Two Huskies, Jamie Chebuske and Kellie Stigas, were able to score their first goals of the season.
This was a crucial loss for the Pride, who fall to 1-2 in conference play, heading into a tough stretch in the schedule. There’s still a chance for them to make the CAA playoffs, as there is only one team that’s undefeated in the conference, but the loss gives them little room for error in the upcoming conference matchups.
Even with the loss, Hofstra head coach Kathy De Angelis believes that her team is “peaking at the right time on the attack” and still remains positive about the team’s chances to make the postseason, despite their tough start. She’s not wrong in her assessment, as aside from being shutout against William & Mary, the Pride have scored multiple goals in five of their last six games.
Hofstra looks to bounce back against the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds on Sunday, Oct. 14 at home. Their next CAA game will be against the James Madison University Dukes at home on Friday, Oct. 19.
Photo courtesy of Cam Keough