Hofstra offense shines in home opening win
On a rainy, 63 degree Sunday afternoon, Hofstra men’s soccer dominated play en route to a 3-0 victory against the Harvard Crimson.
The Pride used the weather as a motivating factor and caught Harvard off guard with their skill in the wet conditions.
“The weather was a massive factor,” said Hofstra head coach Richard Nuttall, “but we are all European boys and we are used to the weather throughout the winter.”
Hofstra outshot Harvard 14-3 while dealing with multiple injuries, including the absence of Luke Brown, who was injured in Thursday’s scoreless double-overtime draw with Seton Hall.
“Brown is an exceptional player,” Nuttall said after the victory, “but the people who have come in have acquitted themselves very well in a difficult situation and have shown they are a part of the squad.”
Matthew Vowinkel got the Pride off to a strong start, narrowly missing a header off of a corner kick five minutes into the game. Oscar Ramsay quickly rebounded after his team’s missed opportunity, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to put the Pride up 1-0.
Ramsay’s knuckler of a shot trickled right by Harvard’s freshman goalkeeper, David Paquette, who seemed unprepared for the shot from up close.
Just eight minutes later, freshman Luca Tausch, who was already playing a strong offensive and defensive game, tacked on another goal for the Pride in an impressive display of athletic ability.
Tausch fielded a volley from the corner, worked the ball across his body and placed his shot perfectly, beating Paquette to make the game 2-0.
The first half came to a quiet conclusion, with corner kicks – Hofstra had seven – emerging as a common theme.
Home-field advantage was huge in the first half. The Pride were clearly comfortable playing at home for the first time all season, while Harvard struggled to adjust to the conditions.
“We have been away for that long,” Nuttall said. “It is just so refreshing to be home.”
Hofstra came out of halftime with the same mentality they had had for the previous 45 minutes, quickly adding another goal to make the game 3-0.
Ramsay placed a beautiful through ball right on the head of Vowinkel, who finally got his goal after missing out on one five minutes into the game.
The game concluded without much pressure from Harvard, leading to a quiet finish to an otherwise exciting game.
“Harvard was never able to surmount an attack in the second half,” Nuttall said, “Even at 3-0 you just gotta keep [your team] going.”
Hofstra will next play the Seawolves at Stony Brook in the Battle of Long Island on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Image courtesy of Cam Keough