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.
“To beat a team of that tradition is really remarkable,” said De Angelis of ODU’s storied field hockey history.
De Angelis had to watch Hofstra complete their comeback from afar after receiving a red card and being forced to exit the sidelines with 17:26 left and the Pride trailing 5-4. However she had full confidence in her top assistant coach April Cornell leading the team and the players embraced De Angelis with a huge hug upon reuniting following the signature win. As a result of receiving the red card, De Angelis will have to miss this Wednesday’s home game against Columbia, but she feels fortunate that the suspension does not come during one of Hofstra’s three remaining CAA contests.
Hofstra has reached the CAA post-season five straight seasons but with the conference reducing its playoff format from six to four and the Pride having a young team, if the streak reaches six it will be an extraordinary accomplishment. Hofstra is currently in fifth place with challenging CAA games remaining at home against Northeastern along with road tilts at Delaware and Towson.
“This was supposed to be a rebuilding year and to play of this caliber shows how bright the future of this program is,” said De Angelis. “If we continue to play the way we played this weekend, I have no doubt we will be in the top four."