Hofstra’s women’s soccer team won a 2-1 victory, their first in five games, over the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) Seahawks on an unusually wet and windy evening on the 14th october. It was a major Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with playoff implications for both teams, and Pride emerged on top with a point of a CAA playoff berth.
“When you get to that point in the season where the players are starting to realize that there are only two games left or that could be it, they give a bit more momentum and that’s what we saw tonight. “said Hofstra head coach Simon Riddiough. “The girls dug deep.”
The first minutes of the match were played out in difficult conditions, but the rain that fell did not prevent Pride from starting the score early. Dagny Run Petursdottir scored the opening goal in the eighth minute of the match. The third goal of the first year of the season came from a rebound shot by teammate Wiktoria Fronc.
Two shot attempts quickly followed the goal, including a breakaway from Ellen Halseth that just went over the net. Goaltender Skylar Kuzmich recorded her first of three saves as she rounded up Seahawks midfielder Morgan Nanni’s shot from a corner.
Pride continued the pressure with two more shots, one from Thorhildur Thorhallsdottir when she stole the ball past the box but the shot went wide to the right.
The Seahawks took advantage of an error from Kuzmich when her pass was intercepted and UNCW player Morgan Nanni caught her off guard to score the tying goal in the 28th minute. The Seahawks stole the momentum created by Hofstra, but that doesn’t mean the pride quietly gave up. Hofstra regained the lead ten minutes later when Leah Iglesias crossed the ball from the touchline and Thorhallsdottir headed the go-ahead for his sixth goal of the season.
Hofstra simply outshot the Seahawks eight shots to three and made sure to keep the ball out of the visiting team’s possession.
Pride repeatedly tested the opposing defense with two consecutive corners that resulted in shots that went just wide of the net. Meanwhile, Kuzmich remained on top of the few attacks UNCW was able to stage. Pride played ball control as they ate the clock to secure victory in the dying moments of the second half.
The final ten minutes became more physical as the Seahawks were desperate to tie the game and come out of the game with a CAA standings point. On top of that, the rain started to pick up and added to the pressure to win the game. In the final thirty seconds of the game, Makaya Parham of the Seahawks sent a cross that blew on the wind and landed directly in Kuzmich’s hands, sealing the game for Pride.
The Pride are now 7-1-1 when scoring first. Both teams had four shots on goal, but the Pride more than doubled the total number of shots from fifteen to six.
Pride is now 7-6-3 overall and 2-3-2 in conference. The Pride control their destiny with two games to play before the playoffs against the teams ahead of them in the standings. Hofstra will play the University of Charleston on Sunday, Oct. 16 in another critical conference game.
Photo courtesy of Evan Bernstein