Hofstra volleyball postseason streak in jeopardy after Halloween loss to Northeastern

The last time Hofstra volleyball was not taking part in its conference championships George H.W Bush was in the White House and the Internet was still in its infancy stages but after today’s Halloween matinee loss to Northeastern, the Pride’s 16-year postseason streak is in serious jeopardy. The Huskies made the clutch plays when they mattered most in a four-set win at the Physical Fitness Center that puts Hofstra three games behind George Mason for the fourth and final CAA playoff spot with only four matches remaining.

Northeastern, which knocked off Hofstra twice last season including a season-ender in the CAA semifinals, continued to be a thorn in the Pride’s side winning today’s critical conference match 3-1 by scores of 25-22, 19-25, 25-20 and 25-22. The loss ends Hofstra’s two-match winning streak and gives Northeastern a one-game edge for fifth place in the CAA standings. Hofstra had defeated Northeastern earlier this season in Boston 3-1.

“We got off to some really slow starts and we let too many strings of points go,” said Hofstra head women’s volleyball coach Kristina Hernandez moments after today’s loss dropped the Pride to 10-18 and 4-6 in the CAA. “It comes down to passing and serving and we didn’t do any of those extremely well today.”

In the fourth set with Hofstra up 19-17 the match appeared like it may be bound for a fifth and deciding set. However Northeastern proceeded to score six straight points including five served up by Christine Kubik in route to the 25-22 fourth set win that clinched a joyous bus ride back to Beantown for the Huskies.

Hofstra has qualified for the CAA playoffs eight straight years since joining the conference in 2001 but will now likely need to win its final four matches and have some teams in front of them lose in order to keep that streak alive. Hofstra has made the conference playoffs for the past 16 years dating back to its days in the America East and East Coast Conference with the last year of no postseason play coming in 1992.


Hofstra women's basketball pre-season practice update

With two and a half weeks until the Hofstra women’s basketball team jump starts its 2009/2010 season at home against Buffalo, head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey has a good problem on her hands trying to determine the best starting lineup to use since so many players have been stepping up to the challenge in pre-season practices.

“Can I start more than five,” joked Coach Kilburn-Steveskey after this morning’s two-hour practice of how it will be tough to decide who begins each game and who comes off the bench.

The main reason behind the uncertainty of who will comprise Hofstra’s starting lineup when the season tips off against Buffalo on Nov. 16 is the stellar play of freshman forward Shante Evans, who was ranked 54th best player in the class of 2009 and the ninth-best forward by ESPN/HoopGurlz. While Evans is used to playing the power forward position, Coach Kilburn-Steveskey is contemplating slotting the 6-0 West Chester, Pa. native in as a small forward to bolster the inside game for senior center Jess Fuller and 6’3 sophomore Joelle Connelly. Whether it is starting or coming off the bench as the sixth man, Evans will be a major focal point of the Pride offense. 

A freshman stepping up large on the defensive end has been guard Candace Bond. Kilburn-Steveskey noted that the 5’10 Bond has been playing hard-nosed defense in practice against veteran senior guard Sam Brigham, which will serve as positive preparation for both players in 2009/2010. “Candace Bond is going to probably be one of the best defenders that ever came through here,” said Kilburn-Steveskey “She is not backing down.”

Evans and Bond were apart of a recruiting class that ranked 41st in the nation by ESPN/HoopGurlz. However the third member of that heralded recruiting class Lindsey Watson, an Orlando, Fla. native, has left the team for personal reasons.


Hofstra men's basketball pre-season practice update

A dozen days since Hofstra men’s basketball’s first official practice and two weeks before the Pride get set to open the season at national powerhouse Kansas, head coach Tom Pecora is satisfied with the progress of his many younger players, who will help provide a deep bench in 2009/2010.

After today’s hour and a half practice concluded Coach Pecora told “Inside the Pride” that he anticipates playing a nine possibly 10-deep lineup that will have the ability to run the floor more than previous teams. The prospects of being a heavy transition team are made possible by having a deeper bench and the early progress of new guards Chaz Williams and Brad Kelleher, which will allow junior Charles Jenkins to play off the ball for longer stretches. “We’re going to play at a little bit of a quicker pace,” said Pecora.

Jenkins, who averaged 19.7 points per game as a sophomore, has shown a serious focus in the early practices and is a perfect example for younger players to follow on and off the court, according to Pecora.  “He is on the right page and he is definitely focused and he is doing a great job being a good leader,” said Pecora of Jenkins, who earned Colonial Athletic Association pre-season player of the year honors after winning last year's Haggerty Award given to the best player in the New York City metropolitan region.


Hofstra lacrosse teams keep Nick Colleluori's spirit alive through 2 fall events

Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Hofstra women's lacrosse team with the Colleluori family 
at the first-ever Nick Colleluori Women's Lacrosse Classic
The Hofstra men’s and women’s lacrosse teams recently took part in two separate Nick Colleluori Classics that combined raised over $200,000 aimed at helping find a cure for blood cancer.

The first-ever Nick Colleluori Women's Lacrosse Classic held on Sept. 26 at Shuart Stadium raised $32,000  while the men’s event that took place at Ridley High School in suburban Philadelphia on Oct. 10 and 11 is estimated by the HEADstrong Foundation to surpass over $180,000. Both of these charity events are aimed at raising money for blood cancer research and to keep alive the memory of former Hofstra men’s lacrosse defenseman Nick Colleluori, who passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Nov. 28, 2006 at the age of 21. The inspirational story of Colleluori’s courageous 14-month cancer battle as well as the efforts by family, friends and the lacrosse community to fight this deadly disease and honor his legacy through the HEADstrong Foundation were featured in an article written by ESPN.com's Patrick Carney yesterday.

Hofstra women's lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan was honored to be able to help organize the first Nick Colleluori Women's Lacrosse Classic, which featured 12 teams who each sold 150 HEADstrong t-shirts that together helped raise $27,000. "It was great exposure for the [HEADstrong Foundation] on the women's side," said Coach Morgan of the first Nick Colleluori Women's Lacrosse Classic, which she hopes to see expanded to 16 teams next year.
Since the inaugural Nick Colleluori Men's Lacrosse Classic was held in 2007 at Nick's amla mater Ridley High School, the annual event has raised $405,000 for the HEADstrong Foundation. "I am thrilled to see where the HEADstrong Foundation has grown today," said Hofstra men's lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney. "This is about keeping Nick's memory and spirit alive."


Knight trying to lead Pride volleyball into the CAAs

 Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications

When Monica Knight began her Hofstra volleyball career in 2006 the South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Native was apart of a senior-laden team that was the first in program history to advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Flash forward three years later and Knight is the senior leader on a young team hoping to advance to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in order to give her another shot at experiencing an NCAA playoff atmosphere.

Knight has transformed from a role player on previous teams to the anchor of this year’s Pride squad that after a key road five-set win at William & Mary Saturday, is very much alive to qualify for the four-team CAA tournament next month.  The senior outside hitter had a career best 29 kills in a five-set Friday night loss Virginia Commonwealth and followed that up with a personal-best 24 digs in the triumph at William & Mary. After some initial tough adjustments to her new role as a leader, Knight is now relishing it.

“It’s been really hard but it is has also been a great learning experience,” said Knight, who leads Hofstra in kills with 362. “I have got a lot in me that I didn’t know I had.”


Hofstra women’s soccer 0-0 tie with JMU delays clinching top CAA seed

The Hofstra women’s soccer team came into its Sunday afternoon game against James Madison with a few scenarios that could clinch the regular season Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title but the most simple was just defeat the Dukes. However despite out-shooting JMU 20-7 the Pride had to settle for a 0-0 tie that keeps second place Northeastern alive for the top CAA top-seed and the right to host the conference tournament in two weeks.

The Pride (10-4-2, 7-1-2 in the CAA) closes the regular season at Northeastern on Halloween and will need a win or tie over the Huskies to assure that today’s Senior Day game will not be the last at Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in 2009.

“I thought we played well and I thought we played well enough to win against a very, very good James Madison team, who got to the Sweet 16 last year,” said Hofstra women’s soccer head coach Simon Riddiough moments after the game.

Today marked the second straight Sunday that Hofstra played to a 0-0 tie and in last week’s scoreless deadlock at Georgia State the Pride out-shot the Panthers 41-14.

If it were not for the play of goalie Krysten Farriella Hofstra may have been looking at a loss rather than a tie. The junior keeper literally saved the day for the Pride in the second overtime by stonewalling a point-blank header from Ashley Flateland off a free kick from Teresa Rynier. The Pride had its best chance to win the game in the second overtime when junior forward Salma Tarik put a header just wide of the net off a cross from sophomore Laura Greene.


Hofstra football’s playoff drought likely to continue after loss to UNH

Storm clouds hovered over Shuart Stadium for this afternoon’s Hofstra football game against New Hampshire and when the Pride left the field there was likely no more glimpse of sun for the program ending a seven year playoff drought. Costly mistakes including two first-half turnovers and a high snap on a punt that led to a safety all spelled doom for the Pride in an 18-10 loss to ninth-ranked New Hampshire. .

The loss before a rain-soaked crowd of 3,386 all but ends any hope Hofstra (4-4, 2-3) had at reaching the football championship subdivision (FCS) post season, as it is very rare for a four-loss team to receive an at-large bid to the 16-team tournament. After starting off the new millennium strong with playoff appearances in 2000 and 2001, the remainder of the decade for Hofstra football has lacked a post-season presence and today’s loss to the Wildcats (6-1, 3-1) all but assures that 2009 will be no different.

“For our leadership, our seniors that is a tough locker room right now,” said Hofstra head football coach Dave Cohen after the game of the team’s playoff chances likely being over as a result of this afternoon’s loss. “They understood that their backs were against the wall if they planned on playing past the regular season.”

Hofstra appeared like it may remain in the FCS playoff discussion late in the third quarter after a three-yard touchdown run by Cory Christopher cut the UNH lead to 10-7. The Wildcats however seized back momentum early in the fourth quarter when kicker Tom Manning broke a UNH record with a 54-yard field goal aided by the wind at his back to make it 13-7.


Hofstra seniors cap home field hockey career with key CAA win over Northeastern

When Hofstra field hockey seniors Kristin Thompson and Ashleigh Daniels first arrived in Hempstead for the 2006 season, the Pride were in their final year calling Shuart Stadium home. The duo has since gone on to be key focal points of ushering in the program’s new era at the three-year old Hofstra University Field Hockey Stadium and capped their final home game in grand style this afternoon with 4-2 win over Northeastern.

Thompson and Daniels both contributed a goal apiece in Hofstra’s huge Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win on Senior Day that puts the Pride (11-6, 4-2) in prime position to reach the four-team conference playoffs next month. “They are invaluable to our program,” said Hofstra head field hockey coach Kathy De Angelis of her two seniors. “We still have got a great part of the season left so we’re excited about the win and having them with us for a few more weeks hopefully on to the [CAA] championship.”

With today’s win over Northeastern (9-7, 3-2), Hofstra has supremacy over the Huskies by a half game with a tiebreaker advantage for that fourth and final CAA playoff spot with two road games remaining at Delaware and Towson. “This win was crucial,” said Daniels of the playoff implications that stemmed from today’s game.

Ironically both senior’s goals in their final home game bookended each other. Thompson, whose parents attended her senior day festivities all the way from Trinidad, scored the game’s first goal 9:43 into the game off an assist from Nancy Wagenbrenner. Daniels tallied the game’s final goal off a transition feed from Genna Kovar 10:27 into the second half with the Pride clinging to a 3-2 lead and Northeastern mounting heavy offensive pressure.


A Q & A with Hofstra Athletic Director Jack Hayes

Jack Hayes enters his sixth year as Hofstra University’s director of athletics extremely optimistic that the Pride sports teams he oversees are on their way to successful 2009/2010 seasons thanks to the return of several Colonial Athletic Association award winners. Hayes sat down with “Inside the Pride” to discuss how the Hofstra athletics program is faring during these challenging economic times, recent facility improvements that have been undertaken and his vision to bring NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse championship events to Shuart Stadium on a regular basis.

Inside the Pride: What has been your most proud accomplishment since being named Hofstra athletic director five years ago?
Jack Hayes: The men and women that have come to Hofstra for athletics continue to be happy about their experience here. This is a result of coaches that we have, facilities that we have built or enhanced, schedules that we have put together for our programs and academic support that we have been able to provide. I think it is a combination of a lot of different things but it is my most proud accomplishment that the students who graduate are happy with their experience at Hofstra.

Inside the Pride: How has the downturn in the U.S economy affected Hofstra athletics and what steps have been done to try and combat these challenging conditions?
Jack Hayes: It has affected all athletics programs at all schools. Our fundraising numbers the last few years have increased and our development staff and our coaches, who are all so involved in the fundraising effort, have done an outstanding job. But we have had to look at how we operate on a day-to-day basis, what teams we play, where we travel and I don’t think that is any different than what any other school has gone through.

Inside the Pride: What role do facilities rentals to outside groups play in creating revenue for the athletics program?
Jack Hayes: Our facilities rentals are an important part of how we generate revenue for athletics. That really has not changed as we continue to do that, but there are certain times of the year where it is very difficult to do it. You don’t want to do it in a way that impacts our current student-athletes and our coaches so a lot of that is done over the summer, over vacation periods, but we do it whenever we can.

Inside the Pride: Talk about some of the facilities enhancements that have been made recently?

Pro football coming to Hofstra on Nov. 4

The upstart United Football League's Nov. 4 scheduled nationally televised game between the New York Sentinels and  Las Vegas Locomotives is being moved from Citi Field to Hofstra's Shuart Stadium, the league announced today, according to an article in this morning's Examiner.com. The decision to move the game from the 41,800 seat Citi Field in Flushing, Queens to 13,000 seat Shuart Stadium was explained by UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, who stated in the Examiner article: 

"While Citi Field is a phenomenal facility and we look forward to playing a game there in the future, we feel Hofstra is a better fit for us right now as a football facility. Hofstra University has been receptive to handling logistics with us, including allowing our teams to practice there during game week."
This is great news for Hofstra as the 7 p.m. Wednesday night game will be shown nationally on Versus, giving people across the country a chance to see what an excellent facility Shuart Stadium is and generate positive publicity for the university. "It is always great when we can bring events to Hofstra that will be seen by a national audience," said Hofstra athletic director Jack Hayes in response to the New York Sentinel's decision to play its Nov. 4 nationally televised game at Hofstra.

The Nov. 4 prtimetime UFL game at Hofstra will also be a Big Apple area homecoming for Las Vegas head coach Jim Fassell, who coached the New York Giants from 1997-2003. The Sentinels are coached by former New York Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.


Win over GMU boots Hofstra men's soccer into first place

There was plenty on the line for the Hofstra men’s soccer team in its Wednesday night home affair with George Mason (GMU) as the winner of this crucial Colonial Athletic Association match would have the inside track toward reaching the conference playoffs next month. Thanks to the continued offensive firepower from senior midfielder Rob Youhill the Pride were able to get out to the early lead and never look back in 2-0 to triumph that keeps Hofstra very much in the running for the CAA regular season title.

Hofstra’s win combined with UNC-Wilmington’s 1-1 tie Wednesday with William & Mary puts the Pride in first place one point ahead of Northeastern with four games remaining. GMU won the CAA title last year and earlier this season defeated defending national champion Maryland 2-0.

“What we said before the game is if we lose this game we are back with the pack, if we can win the game we are ahead of the pack,” said Hofstra men’s soccer head coach Richard Nuttall on the importance of the GMU win.

The home victory in front of 440 fans served as some redemption for Hofstra, who suffered a 5-0 defeat at GMU in the first round of the CAA tournament last year. More importantly the victory gives Hofstra (7-5-1, 5-1-1) a two game cushion over the Patriots (8-5-1, 3-2-1) in the battle to receive one of four available CAA playoff spots. If Hofstra were to finish in first place, it would get to host the CAA playoffs scheduled for Nov. 13-15.


Well-traveled Egypt native finds home with Hofstra women’s soccer

Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications

Hofstra women’s soccer junior forward Salma Tarik has moved around plenty in her life from Egypt to East Meadow, out west to California and back east to Bellmore. Hofstra head coach Simon Riddiough is sure happy she has decided to make Hofstra the home for her women’s soccer career as the transfer from Cal State Northbridge has been the Pride’s leading scorer since returning to Long Island.

Entering 2009 Coach Riddiough knew he had a solid defensive foundation but was concerned if there would be enough offense. The Cairo, Egypt native has certainly helped provide that with nine goals and four assists, which has has helped pace Hofstra (9-4-2, 6-1-1) into first place during the Colonial Athletic Association’s home stretch of the season with three games remaining.

After not starting right away her first season at Hofstra, Tarik took it upon herself to work extra hard in the summer playing with the Los Angeles Legends of the W-League. “If I didn’t play in that league or train on my own this year would be a lot different,” said Tarik, who ended up leading the Pride in scoring with six goals last year despite being on the bench to start the season.

When Tarik arrived at Hofstra last year she re-united with childhood friend and Pride forward Courtney Breen, who she competed against in youth soccer for the East Meadow Dynamite. The two former East Meadow youth players teamed up to both tally goals in Hofstra’s 2-1 win at Princeton on Sept. 4.


Hofstra men's lacrosse to open New Meadowlands Stadium

The Hofstra men’s lacrosse team will have a chance to become a part of Big Apple sports history on April 10 when the Pride face Delaware in the first event at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J..

The schedule for the Konica Minolta Big City Classic tripleheader was officially announced today and Colonial Athletic Association rivals Hofstra and Delaware will have the honor of playing the first game at the brand new home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and Jets. The Hofstra-Delaware game will start at 1 p.m. followed by Virginia-North Carolina at 4:00 p.m. and Syracuse-Princeton at 6:30 p.m. This is change from the inaugural Big City Classic tripleheader on April 4, 2009 at Giants Stadium where the Hofstra-Delaware game was the last one on the docket and the vast majority of the 22,038 fans had exited to escape windy frigid conditions.

Hopefully the combination of the Hofstra-Delaware game kicking off the 2010 Big City Classic tripleheader combined with people’s intrigue of seeing the brand new home of the Giants and Jets will allow the Pride to be exposed to a big-time college lacrosse atmosphere.


In the Crease for Hofstra men's lacrosse vs. Team England

I attended tonight’s men’s lacrosse exhibition game between Hofstra and Team England at Shuart Stadium with the Pride winning 19-4. No official stats were taken but below are some key notes I observed from the game, which was played in four 20 minute quarters with running time.
  • The Pride had 11 different goal scorers with junior attackman Jay Card leading the way with five.
  • University of Denver transfer Jamie Lincoln, who scored 48 goals as in 2008 for the Pioneers, did not dress for the England game. He also missed last weekend's Nick Colleluori Classic to try out for the Canadian national team so head coach Seth Tierney will have to wait until the Pride's first pre-season scrimmage on Feb. 6 at Syracuse to see the Canadian attackman in game action.  
  • Sophomore goalie Andrew Gvozden and freshman Robert Bellairs split time in the cage with both making some solid saves. Freshman Kyle Dillon, a North Las Vegas native, played the final eight minutes and recorded one save.  
  • Senior Michael Vaccarro took the majority of the faceoffs and won many cleanly, which helped create some quick transition goals. The former walk-on out of Plano, Texas should be the number one-faceoff specialist in 2010 after Joe Montemurro transferred to Muhlenberg College to play football.  
  • Hofstra was on offense for about 70% of the game with Team England only having 12 offensive possessions inside the Pride restraining box.  
  • Hofstra released its 2010 schedule with the season opening up on Feb. 27 at Princeton  followed by three straight home games on March 6 against Brown., March 13 versus Johns Hopkins and a March 20 battle with former Colonial Athletic Association foe Sacred Heart. Some other schedule highlights include a short-road trip to St. John's on March 23, home games against traditional lacrosse powers Army on March 30 and Towson on May 1 and facing Delaware in the Inside Lacrosse-Konica-Minolta Big City Classic triple-header at the new Meadowlands Stadium on April 10 at 1 p.m.


Hofstra men’s basketball in-practice blog

The Hofstra men's basketball team is set to officially launch the 2009/2010 season with the first of many practices they hopes will last well into March. Head coach Tom Pecora will be no doubt working his players hard both physically and mentally in preparation for a rigorous non-conference slate of games that starts in just 28 days at potential pre-season number-one ranked Kansas. Hofstra returns only five scholarship players from last season’s 21-11 team, but with one of those returnees being All-American candidate Charles Jenkins combined with seven talented newcomers such as second-team All New York City selection Chaz Williams, Pride fans have many reasons to be excited. Stay tuned to "Inside the Pride" and refresh your browser for constant updates of this debut Hofstra men’s basketball practice of the 2009/2010 season.

Hofstra women's basketball in-practice blog

The Hofstra women's basketball is getting set to take to the Mack Sports Complex floor for its first official practice of the 2009/2010 season. With seven of its top nine scorers returning combined with a heralded recruiting class ranked 41st-best by ESPN/HoopGurlz, there is reason for Hofstra fans to be optimistic as the Pride begin this new campaign. With Hofstra facing a rigorous non-conference schedule that includes defending national champion Connecticut and ACC power Clemson, head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey should be working her players extra hard starting this evening. Stay tuned to "Inside the Pride" and refresh your browser for constant updates of this debut Hofstra women's basketball practice of the 2009/2010 season.


Hofstra women’s lacrosse uses fall season to bolster team chemistry

The Hofstra women’s lacrosse team has been hard at work both on and off the field during the fall season, as in addition to intense practices and 18 games head coach Abby Morgan has had her players heavily concentrate on developing solid team chemistry heading into 2010.

With nine freshmen on Coach Morgan’s roster, team building activities such as matching up each freshman with an older “sister” and having each player create a shoe box to include writings on their life and lacrosse goals, have been heavily emphasized during fall ball. “Getting the players to learn more about each other is something that we have really tried to stress,” said Morgan. “For the fall it’s really about getting everyone comfortable with each other.”

Hofstra’s 2010 team will feature six seniors who reached the NCAA Tournament as freshmen in 2007 and just missed out on the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs the last two seasons. The Pride have had to hold most of their fall practices without three of these key seniors including Corrine Gandolfi, Bryana Borrelli and Jenn Olson, who along with junior Bettina Mianulli are student-teaching this semester. As a sign of the team’s determination to succeed, the foursome have been waking up at 5 a.m. for lifting before heading out to teach and many teammates have joined them for their extra-early-morning weight training.

Coach Morgan has tried to organize practice schedules around the student-teaching conflicts but she added that the missed time of these vocal leaders has led to some positives for the other players. “It has kind of opened the door to our quieter players to step up and be leaders,” she said.

Hofstra loses defensive leaders Alysse Ruszkowski and Lauren Whitcomb but returns several offensive weapons including Gandolfi, who led the Pride in scoring with 45 goals and 25 assists, Liz Falco (29 goals) Stephanie Rice (23 goals) and Ashley Jones (19 goals). The fall season has featured diverse offensive production including 15 different scorers in Hofstra’s four games during the Nick Colleluori Women's Lacrosse Classic on Sept. 26. “Our issue won’t be the weapons that we have but how do we have utilize them as a team,” said Morgan.

First Hofstra basketball practices to be live blogged

Tune into "Inside the Pride" tomorrow starting at 5 p.m. for a live blog of the first women's and men's basketball practices of the 2009/2010 season. The women's basketball practice is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to around 7 p.m. with Tom Pecora's team scheduled to enter the Mack Sports Complex floor at around 7:30 p..m. The blog will give fans inside access to the details and atmosphere of the teams' opening practices as they prepare for tough non-conference schedules starting in a month.


Hofstra men’s lacrosse to end fall season vs. Team England

The Hofstra men’s lacrosse team’s fall season is winding down but before the equipment is put away until the winter, the Pride will get one last chance to prepare for 2010 with an exhibition game against the England national team this Saturday night at Shuart Stadium.

Team England will be visiting Hofstra as part of its U.S tour against six Division I schools in preparation for next year’s World Lacrosse Championships. “It is going to be a great opportunity and we’re excited that [Team England] selected us as one of the teams they will play,” said Hofstra men's lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney.

The game against England will give Tierney a chance to see game-action from two of his key offensive players in attackmen Jay Card and Jamie Lincoln, who both missed last weekend’s Nick Colleluori Classic to try out for the Canadian national team. Card enters his junior season after earning honorable mention All-American accolades while Lincoln arrives at Hofstra as a transfer from the University of Denver, where he scored 48 goals as a freshman in 2008.

The fall season has given Tierney a chance to view 21 new players including 16 freshmen.  Among the key losses from last season’s 11-4 team that earned an at-large NCAA tourney birth are the entire starting midfield unit of Michael Colleluori, Anthony Muscarella and Ryan Carter. “Half of our team is new so we had to go back to work and start from the beginning a little but they have responded well,” said Tierney.


Hofstra’s Martinez aims for large soccer stage

When Hofstra men's soccer senior defender Richard Martinez got called up to compete for the Puerto Rico national team last year, he initially thought it would be a team comprised of the best players age 23 and under from his native country. However much to the surprise of Martinez, 10 minutes before his first practice he discovered this would be the actual  Puerto Rican national team and that World Cup qualifiers against much older players would soon be in his future.

Martinez made the most of this surprise opportunity on the global stage playing every minute of five World Cup qualifier games. The experience going up against the world’s best players has paid major dividends for the Hofstra defender both for his senior year and his hopes of playing the sport he loves professionally upon graduation.

“Mentally it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Martinez of how playing against the world’s best soccer players has set him up well for competing against teams in Hofstra’s highly competitive conference, the Colonial Athletic Association. “My whole mentality from that point on has changed.”

Even before becoming one of a select few players to compete in World Cup qualifiers, Martinez made a huge impact at Hofstra his freshman season scoring the winning penalty kick in a shootout victory over George Mason in the 2006 CAA title game. This was Hofstra’s last appearance in the NCAA College Cup and Martinez hopes his collegiate career can be capped once again with some late November soccer. After a 6-0 shutout win at Delaware this past Saturday the Pride are 5-5 and 3-1 in the CAA heading into tomorrow’s conference battle at Drexel. .

“We would definitely like to extend our season as long as possible,” said Martinez, who earned All-CAA first team accolades last season.


Hofstra field hockey with “win of a lifetime” over 16th-ranked ODU

It was by far the most enjoyable eight-hour bus ride that Hofstra field hockey head coach Kathy De Angelis had ever been on yesterday following her team’s stunning come-from-behind 6-5 upset of 16th- ranked Old Dominion (ODU). The dramatic comeback from a 5-1 deficit capped a successful Virginia weekend sweep and has positioned Hofstra (8-6, 3-2) with a legitimate shot at making the competitive four-team Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) playoffs next month.

One day after returning to Long Island from a long but rewarding bus ride, Coach De Angelis described the victory over ODU as her greatest since becoming Hofstra head coach in 1998. The Pride had previously been 0-7 against the storied ODU field hockey program, which has nine national championships in its trophy case, and rallying from a four goal-deficit early in the second half made the historic victory that much more rewarding.

“We could have gone on that bus for 24 hours and talked about that game,” joked De Angelis. “This is the win of a lifetime.”

It was a dramatic weekend all around for Hofstra field hockey, who on Friday night defeated William & Mary 3-2 in overtime on a goal from senior Ashleigh Daniels off an assist from junior Amy-Lee-Levey. Levey also tallied the Pride’s tying goal against ODU with 6:33 left and just over a minute later freshman Micaela Gallagher (Pictured) picked an opportune time for her first career collegiate goal off a penalty corner with 5:06 left to cap the comeback. Sophomore Genna Kovar registered two goals during the five-goal barrage with Nancy Wagenbrenner adding the other tally.


Quick Slants from Hofstra's 16-14 loss to Maine

Hofstra's running game accounted for 293 of the Pride's 531 offensive yards led by freshman Miguel Maysonet with 95-yards on seven carries, including a 30-yard gain to open the second half. "He's as physical a runner as we have and he has great change of direction," said Hofstra head coach Dave Cohen in the post game press conference of the Riverhead High School product and 2008 New York State Gatorade Player of the Year winner.

• Sophomore wide receiver Chaz Cervino, a transfer from Syracuse, hauled in two big fourth quarter catches before going down with a wrist injury late in the game. Coach Cohen described Cervino's injury as serious and is awaiting X-Rays on his wrist to determine the severity of it.

• Today's loss was the first time Hofstra was not victorious in its annual homecoming game since losing to Villanova 20-16 in Cohen's first season as Pride head coach.

• Hofstra defensive coordinator Rich Nagy faced Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove for the first time since he was a part of his coaching staff leading the Black Bears defense from 2001-2005. "He's a great friend, a great person and you're very fortunate to have him here," said Coach Cosgrove of Nagy in the postgame press conference. "I miss him up in Maine."

Turnovers plague Hofstra in homecoming defeat

When a football team amasses 531 yards of offense and 21 more first downs than its opponent such as Hofstra did against Maine today, that would typically equate to a victory. However on the flip side when a team turns the ball over seven times and loses the turnover battle by four, more often than not it will leave the field with a loss and that was exactly what happened to the Pride in their annual homecoming game today.

A combination of five interceptions and two fumbles that led to 10 Maine points spoiled Hofstra’s offensive explosion in a 16-14 Colonial Athletic Association loss to the Black Bears just a week after upsetting seventh-ranked James Madison. The loss leaves Hofstra (3-3, 1-2) in a position where it may need to run the table in its final five games in order to have a shot at its first playoff appearance since 2001.

“There is no excuse for that amount of turnovers,” said a frustrated head coach Dave Cohen in the postgame press conference. “

The Hofstra defense forced two Maine fumbles and an interception but still lost the always key turnover battle seven to three. The Pride were also hurt by a 22-yard missed field goal from Henry Greco early in the fourth quarter off an errant snap when Maine was clinging to a 13-7 lead.

“To outgain an opponent by 220 yards and not win… it comes to two things, winning on special teams and winning the turnover battle.”

Despite the massive amount of turnovers the Pride were still in position to win the game thanks to outgaining Maine 531-311 and picking up 32 first downs to only 11 for the Black Bears. An Aaron Weaver four-yard touchdown reception from Cory Christopher with 2:22 left in the game brought the Pride to within 16-14.


Hofstra DB perseveres through tragedy

When Jordan Dangerfield recorded a key fourth quarter interception in Hofstra’s 24-17 upset over seventh-ranked James Madison last week, his father was not far from his thoughts.

On Aug. 1, just a week before Dangerfield’s first college football training camp was to begin, his father, friend and former coach Jordan Dangerfield, Sr. unexpectedly died of a heart attack at age 51. With the heavy support of his teammates and coaching staff, the freshman defensive back has managed to persevere through this personal tragedy and be a key contributor to the Hofstra defense early this season.

“Right after [the interception] I felt him and after the game I had a little talk with him,” said Dangerfield of how his father remains in his prayers just over two months after his passing.

Dangerfield Sr., a former longtime resident of Elmont, Long Island before moving with his family to Royal Palm Beach, Fla. in 2005, was very active as a firefighter, coach, PTA leader and as a devoted member of the Ethiopian Jewish community. He also had a deep commitment to his family and was excited to be attending his son’s games at Shuart Stadium. just eight miles from his former Elmont home.

Knowing how much it meant to his father to play football at Hofstra, the 5’7 170 pound Dangerfield managed to make that first practice of the season on Aug. 9 just over a week after suffering such a deep loss. “It was something he wanted me to do so I had to do it,” said Dangerfield of pressing through with his football career in the wake of incurring the sudden death of a loved one. “That is what I would have been doing if he was still here,so I had to do it.”


Hofstra defensive coordinator going up against former team

This Saturday’s annual homecoming game at Shuart Stadium against Maine will feature a reunion of a different variety for Hofstra defensive coordinator Rich Nagy, who was an assistant coach with the Black Bears from 2001-2005.

Nagy, who took over the Hofstra defense this season after spending the last three seasons at Murray State, will be going up against Maine for the first time since exiting the fellow Colonial Athletic Association North Division school four years ago. However the former standout running back at Trinity College is trying to treat this homecoming with Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove as just like any other game.

“Once the game starts it’s really about the competition and the winning and losing,” said Nagy, who remains close friends with much of the Maine coaching staff including Cosgrove. “I won’t be concerned about who is on the other side”

Hofstra (3-2, 1-1), which is coming off a 24-17 upset over seventh ranked James Madison, kicks off its homecoming game against Maine (2-3, 1-1) starting at 1 p.m..


Levey thrives under pressure for Hofstra field hockey

An important part of field hockey is penalty strokes and Hofstra head coach Kathy De Angelis has found a reliable executer of these key open shots in junior midfielder Amy-Lee Levey. The Zimbabwe native is striking a .1000 average this season with a perfect three-for-three on penalty strokes including the game-winning overtime goal against Quinnipiac on Sept. 16 and her first of a career high two goals in this past Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win over Virginia Commonwealth (VCU).

“I always look up to the opposite corner and try and fake the goalie out,” said Levey of her mental and physical approach toward taking a penalty stroke. “It is so cool to get it in.”

Since arriving at Hofstra in 2007 from Africa, where she played at an all-girls catholic school in Harare, Zimbabwe called Dominican Convent, Levey has proven to be a reliable offensive producer with 10 points her sophomore season and six as a freshman. However this is the first year where Levey has been called upon to take those pressure penalty strokes, which is a shot taken only 6.4 meters in front of the goalie after a foul occurs in the circle around the goal.

"We are 110% confident that Amy is going to put the stroke in,” said Coach De Angelis of Levey’s clutch goals off of penalties this year. “It’s definitely about power and being technical but you have to have that confidence and composure to get up there and to score.”

Three of Levey’s four goals this season have been by the penalty stroke variety and her other tally came at an opportune time as she poked in a shot off a scramble in front of the VCU net to give the Pride its recent overtime triumph. Hofstra (6-6 and 1-2 in the CAA) needs to finish in the top four if they are to reach the conference playoffs for the sixth straight season and if the Pride manages to keep that post-season streak alive, Levey will likely be a large reason why.

“She is an outstanding athlete with great skill as well as just an amazing heart, which is so important for a program,” said De Angelis.

In addition to her field hockey success Levey also excels in the classroom. The finance major received the CAA Commissioner’s Award and was named a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Academics Squad her first two seasons at Hofstra. “She leads by example in every practice and every game,” said De Angelis.

Hofstra’s quest to reach the CAA playoffs will be largely determined this weekend when the Pride head to Virginia to battle William & Mary on Friday night and 16th-ranked Old Dominion on Sunday. “It’s our fist real away trip so our team is really going to come together,” said Levey. “We’re going to show them what Hofstra is made of.”


Caldwell brings Irish “Pride” to Hofstra

When senior defenseman Diane Caldwell first suited up for the Irish national team in early 2006 she got an early introduction to the Hofstra women’s soccer family that has formed in the Emerald Isle. While competing for her native country she played with Hofstra red-shirt senior Edel Malone and former Pride women’s soccer players Dolores Deasley, Elaine O’Connor, Kariena Richards and Casey O’Driscoll, who all played a huge influence on her decision to head to land on Long Island.

“They really encouraged me to come here,” said Caldwell of how the large make-up of Hofstra women’s soccer players competing for Ireland brought her to Hempstead. "[Playing at Hofstra] has met my expectations and more."

Caldwell has adapted well to her surroundings at Hofstra on and off the field and is hoping to extend her senior season as long as possible. The physical education major tallied Hofstra’s winning goal in a 1-0 triumph over George Mason last Friday night on a corner kick with 7:35 remaining in the game. Caldwell’s senior leadership has been a major factor in the Pride’s number three ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic Region following a 7-3-1 start and 4-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association heading into home games this weekend against Old Dominion and William & Mary.

One word that would sum up Caldwell’s many attributes is “versatility” as since first arriving at Hofstra in 2006 the Balbriggan, Ireland native has played forward, midfield and her final college soccer season on defense. Head coach Simon Riddiough opted to move Caldwell to defense in order to solidify a backline that graduated some key starters from a year ago.

“She just wants to play and wants to win,” said Riddiough. “She is very unselfish.”

Caldwell got a taste of NCAA tournament play during her sophomore year in 2007 when Hofstra defeated Ohio State before dropping an overtime heartbreaker to Penn State in the second round. With her desire to win and return to the NCAAs, she will perform whatever tasks are asked of her. “Because I am so versatile I’ll play wherever,” she said. “I’ll play in goal if I have to.”

Is JMU win Hofstra football’s biggest?

Nobody would argue that the Pride’s 24-17 upset of seventh-ranked James Madison was the biggest in the Dave Cohen-era but where does it rank in all-time Hofstra gridiron victories since joining Division I in 1991?
The last time Hofstra beat a team as high as seventh-ranked was head coach Joe Gardis’s final game against Massachusetts (21-10) on Nov. 19, 2005, but since it was to end a non-playoff season at 7-4, that cannot  even be considered on the same planet as the JMU triumph. Hofstra’s 10-9 win at second-ranked Montana to start the 2000 season when the Pride were ranked 11th certainly ranks up there as that allowed the blue and gold to reach the playoffs as an independent despite having three losses. Hofstra winning its first Division IAA playoff game against Lehigh 27-15 in 1999 had its own significance, but it was a game the Flying Dutchmen (as they were called then) were expected to win at home.
I would rate the Montana win over James Madison as biggest in the Division I-era because of being able to accomplish the feat over a national-championship caliber team in a hostile environment on the road. However if Hofstra can keep the momentum from the JMU victory and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001, it will certainly go down as one of the most important wins in program history.


Hofstra softball celebrates past & present at alumni day

The past and present of Hofstra softball’s rich history gathered yesterday for the fifth annual alumni day featuring more than 30 former Pride players hitting the base paths against the current players.
Since the autumn tradition at the Hofstra University Softball Stadium began in 2005, the alumni team has been competitive in their games against the current team but always managed to come up a little short. However the most important part of the day is allowing former Pride players a chance to catch up with old friends and pass on pointers to the current Hofstra team. Following the game the entire Hofstra softball family enjoyed a barbeque prepared by parents of the current players.
“We always get a good turnout of alumni because we are all so proud of the program we played for and the rich tradition we all had a hand in creating,” said Meaghan Almon, Hofstra softball's starting catcher from 2001-2004. “Hofstra Softball is one big family and we are very proud of what we have accomplished over the years.”

Hofstra softball has enjoyed stellar success under head coach Bill Edwards including 11 straight conference titles from 1998-2008. Five former Hofstra players from that 11-year run of dominance spoke at alumni day to gohofstra.com about the program’s success.

Hofstra football up bright and early for TV cameras

The hard work required to play football at Hofstra was on display before a large audience in the New York metropolitan region when Coach Dave Cohen’s team appeared on WPIX's CW11 Morning News earlier today. During the first of three segments that aired at 6:38 a.m., Coach Cohen explained to WPIX field reporter Larry Hoff the grueling schedule it takes to be a Hofstra football player, which includes 6:15 a.m. lifting, academic classes, film sessions, meetings, practice and an evening study hall.
“The balance between getting a great education at Hofstra and playing Division I football, there is a lot of work but these are special guys,” Cohen stated in his interview with Hoff while Pride lineman were shown lifting 70 pound dumbbells and members of Hofstra’s cheerleading and dance teams cheered them on in Shuart Stadium's south end zone. 
 The hard work paid off for Hofstra last week with the Pride upsetting seventh ranked James Madison 24-17 two days ago to improve to 3-2 and 1-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The other two segments with Hoff promoted Hofstra’s homecoming game this Saturday against Maine starting at 1 p.m.


A signature win for Hofstra football; Upset 7th ranked JMU

Picture courtesy of Hofstra Athletic Communications

Leading up to the 2009 season there was a major question mark over whether senior Cory Christopher or sophomore Steve Probst would be starting quarterback, but in today’s game against seventh ranked James Madison, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude decided to utilize the strength of both signal-callers. Behind Christopher as starting quarterback and a steady rotation of Probst, JMU’s defense was kept on their toes throughout the game with the tandem combining for 209 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in a 24-17 upset win at Shuart Stadium.

“It just gives people more things to defend,” said Hofstra football head coach Dave Cohen of the strategy behind rotating both quarterbacks.

The exceptional play of Christopher and Probst along with 178 total rushing yards set Hofstra on course for the signature win over the defending Colonial Athletic Association champions to boost their record to 3-2 and 1-1 in conference. The Hofstra defense also played a large factor in the upset, holding JMU to just 56-yards passing.

“[Today’s win] reiterates to our players the talent level that we have in our locker room and the capabilities and potentials that they have,” said Coach Cohen.

The complete play of Hofstra’s offense and defense was a major turnaround from last season’s 56-0 defeat the Pride were handed by the Dukes in Harrisonburg, Va. and was just two-weeks removed from a 47-0 setback at number-one ranked Richmond. The seeds were planted for this 180-degree swing when Hofstra’s senior leaders decided to hold an intense team meeting on Sept. 23 just four days after Richmond setback. Hofstra then proceeded to put a scare into Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Western Michigan before losing 24-10 last week.

“Today was just the end result of how we handled adversity following the Richmond debacle,” said Cohen.

Not even a 47-minute lightning delay with 1:23 left in the first half and Hofstra leading 14-10 and driving could derail the Pride’s offensive attack. Eleven plays after play resumed, Christopher hooked up with red-shirt freshman tight-end David Wilson for a 4-yard touchdown reception with five seconds remaining that boosted the Pride’s lead to 21-10 at halftime. It was the second touchdown of the game for Wilson, who had a breakout game with 65-yards receiving. The 6’6 Wilson found the end zone for the first time in his college career with a 34-yard reception from Probst that gave Hofstra a 14-3 lead with 10:34 remaining in the second quarter.


The launch of Inside the Pride

Welcome to “Inside the Pride”, a new site designed to keep Hofstra sports fan in the loop with in-depth coverage and features involving your favorite “Blue and Gold” teams.

Hofstra is joining a small but growing list of Division I schools that are hiring outside sports journalists to enhance the web coverage of their teams and the first in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). This site will serve as a hub to get an inside view of the teams, players, coaches and administrators who help shape the Hofstra athletics program both on and off the field.

This is an exciting development not just for Pride fans like you, but also for me personally since I have been a passionate follower of Hofstra sports for the last 11 years. I grew up in East Greenwich, R.I., closely following college sports at Providence College, the University of Rhode Island and Brown. After arriving for freshman year at Hofstra in August 1998, I immediately bled “Blue and Gold.”

While I will certainly bring the Hofstra fan’s perspective to this blog, I will also provide coverage from an objective journalistic point of view. While a student at Hofstra, I covered numerous Pride teams for the Chronicle newspaper and on 88.7FM WRHU (Radio Hofstra University).

After graduating from Hofstra, I worked for four years as a reporter for the Nassau Herald, which covers the Five Towns area in southwest Long Island. While my main responsibility was covering the Lawrence and Hewlett-Woodmere school district along with local village governments, I was always drawn to writing sports features. Some of my features included a scoop on Hewlett High School lacrosse player Steven DeNapoli’s decision to sign with Hofstra in early 2007. He has since gone on to be a reliable short-stick defensive midfielder for the Hofstra men’s lacrosse team and earned All CAA second team accolades as only a sophomore last season, while helping to lead the Pride to its second straight NCAA tourney appearance.

My journalism background also includes financial reporting for Institutional Investor News and Crain’s Investment News, but my number one passion has always been sports; and what better athletics program to cover than my proud alma mater Hofstra? However I will not let my Pride passion get in the way of bringing you objective coverage of Hofstra sports.