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Hebbeker scores as men's soccer starts season with shutout victory over Fordham

Hebbeker scores as men's soccer starts season with shutout victory over Fordham

The Hofstra men’s soccer team won their season opener 1-0 on Thursday, Aug. 29, in a contested game against the Fordham University Rams at the Hofstra Soccer Stadium.

The lone goal for Hofstra came off the foot of sophomore Hendrik Hebbeker on a penalty kick at the 9:59 mark. Up until that point, it had been a struggle for either team to find the back of the net, and this goal opened things up for the Pride.

“Once you start doing your defensive job ... things happen,” Hebbeker said about scoring the lone goal of the night, which also happened to be his first career collegiate goal.

“[Hebbeker has] so much natural talent and he’s really worked himself physically, so what he got tonight is what he deserved,” said Hofstra head coach Richard Nuttall.

From there, the Hofstra defense turned in an outstanding performance in which they refused to let Fordham tie the game. There were moments where Fordham applied the pressure, but graduate student Alex Ashton made six pivotal saves in goal to keep Hofstra’s lead. There was also a crucial team defensive save that prevented a goal late in the second half that could have entirely changed the outcome of the game.

Fordham had more shots on goal for the night, leading the Pride 14-13 with Sameer Fathazada having six shots to lead the Rams. Junior Petter Soelberg led the way for Hofstra with four shots. Fordham’s goalie Konstantin Weis had three saves on the night to Hofstra’s six. The Rams also amassed 15 fouls in the game to Hofstra’s nine.

“It was tremendous college game end to end – scrappy at times, well fought at times, and a lot of bravery and endeavor – some good soccer,” Nuttall said.

“The team worked so hard; every player that was out there worked so hard,” he added.

The Rams dropped their first game of the season to move to 0-1 on the young season. Hofstra remains unbeaten in their last eight season openers (6-0-2).

Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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