Field hockey falls to Drexel in close defensive battle to open CAA play
HEMPSTEAD, NY -- The Hofstra Pride (4-6, 0-1) field hockey team suffered a tough 1-0 loss to the Drexel University Dragons (2-7, 1-0) on Friday, Oct. 4, at Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium in their Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener. The Pride failed to capture the same comeback energy from last week’s upset against Yale University.
After losing their last three games, including two one-point losses to the University of California, Berkeley and Temple University, Drexel was desperate for a change of spirit heading into CAA play.
The Pride, on the other hand, was hoping to carry the momentum from their last few non-conference games into CAA play.
Hofstra has historically struggled against the Dragons and have not beaten Drexel since 2015. Last season, the Dragons’ 5-1 thrashing of the Pride stopped Hofstra from advancing to the CAA tournament.
This tight defensive brawl wouldn’t go the way of the Pride, as the Dragons pulled off the upset. Drexel’s freshman midfielder Isabel Jacobs scored the game-winner unassisted off a Hofstra turnover with 3:59 left to play in the third quarter, outshining both teams’ strong showing in the first half.
Jacobs ripped the shot straight though the center of the circle during a fast, offensive turnover to catch the otherwise superb Pride defense sleeping. It was her first and only shot of the game and she made it count.
Both teams were held to only a combined six shots on goal, with only one of them coming in the first half. The Dragons outshot the Pride 9-4 and limited Hofstra to only one shot on goal in the entire game. Hofstra’s lone shot came from sophomore forward Djuna Slort in the third quarter.
On the other side of the field, the Pride performed notably better, only giving up three penalty corners, the team’s fewest all season.
“The back field line took care of the ball well on attacks with their transfers and ball movement,” said Hofstra head coach Courtney Veinotte. “We have been working extremely hard on limiting the number of circle entries that we are giving the opposing team and today we gave up the least number of penalty corners we have given up all season. I think that speaks volumes to the improvements.”
Despite the loss, freshman goalie Merlijn van der Vegt continued her impressive season, saving four of the five shots on goal that came her way.
“She came up with a couple great saves,” Veinotte said. “She kept us in the game and at the end of the day we need to put the ball in the net on the opposite side.”
Hofstra’s defense was especially impressive in the first half as they limited Drexel to only three shots and one penalty corner.
“We had a great first half,” Veinotte said. “I think we had a six-minute lapse there where our energy kind of lowed in the third, and we got scored on. I think we can take a lot away from this game.”
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athleics