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.

“We did what we expected to do, we just couldn’t put the ball in the net," said Coach Riddiough. "I’m not disappointed in the performance, just the result."

Four Hofstra seniors were honored before the game including defenders Jess Crankshaw and Diane Caldwell along with forwards Erika Fuertes and Jill Lipari. The foursome was apart of the program’s magical 2007 season that saw the Pride reach the second round of the Women’s College Cup and they hope to end their careers with another taste of the NCAAs. “All of them have brought something different and have grown over the last four years and showed tremendous leadership,” said Coach Riddiough of his senior class.

As a result of Northeastern’s 3-1 win today over Virginia Commonwealth the Huskies will enter Saturday’s regular season finale with Hofstra two points behind the Pride for first place. A Hofstra win or tie and the Pride will be hosting the CAA tourney on Nov. 6-8, but a Northeastern victory will bring the conference playoffs to Boston.

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