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.
“It was perfect timing for us to get back on the board,” said Coach De Angelis of the Daniels goal, which came just 3:49 after Northeastern’s Kaela Barker had cut the Pride lead to 3-2 off a penalty corner.
Hofstra only had one penalty corner for the game but made the most of the opportunity as Arielle Williams scored on an assist from Amy-Lee Levey to make it 2-0 14:01 into the game. Kovar tallied an unassisted goal nine minutes later for a 3-0 Hofstra lead.
Hofstra picked up the key CAA win despite living on the edge for much of the game allowing 10 Northeastern penalty corners. Hofstra goalie Amanda Heyde came up huge in net with 11 saves.
After dropping its first two CAA games to 11th-ranked Drexel and ninth-ranked James Madison, Hofstra has gone on a magical run winning four conference games in a row and six overall. Hofstra was expected to be in rebuilding mode entering the season because of having a young team, but instead the Pride finds itself in control of its own destiny heading into the regular season’s final weekend at 17th-ranked Delaware and Towson on Oct. 30 and 31. Hofstra is a perfect 5-0 on the road this season including a 6-5 triumph at then 16th-ranked Old Dominion on Oct. 11.
“We still have our challenges coming up,” said De Angelis. “It’s going to be a big weekend next weekend.”