A video tribute to Hofstra softball coach Bill Edwards upon induction into Hall of Fame

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In honor of his induction into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 11, a video tribute to Hofstra head coach Bill Edwards has been released on youtube featuring insights on what has made the longtime Pride coach such a success both on and off the field. The 8:20 video features an assortment of interviews from many in the Hofstra family including president Stuart Rabinowitz, athletic director Jack Hayes, senior associate director of athletics Cindy Lewis and head basketball coach Tom Pecora. Edwards has been Hofstra's head softball coach since 1990 and in that nearly two-decade stretch has guided the program to national prominence with 721 wins, 11 straight conference titles from 1998-2008 and NCAA Tournament regional finals appearances in 2004, 2005 and 2008. The Coach Edwards video tribute was edited and produced by Len Thon, executive producer and director of Hofstra Multimedia Productions. 


Hofstra women's basketball wins Battle of Long Island over Stony Brook

It was fitting that congestion played a role in Monday night’s Battle of Long Island between the region’s two Division I college women’s basketball programs, Hofstra and Stony Brook. Stony Brook got stuck in a massive traffic jam during its 37 mile trip to Hempstead and did not arrive to the Mack Sports Complex until just moments before the game's 7 p.m. scheduled tip-off.  

The game ended up starting 45 minutes late and Stony Brook’s offense was also tardy putting up only six points in the game’s first 11 minutes enabling Hofstra to build a 21-6 lead. The Pride then held off a late Seawolve rally for a 67-61 victory to improve to 7-3 before a trip to Texas after Christmas to face Southern Methodist and Rice.

Despite the win before 321 fans at the Mack Sports Complex on a frigid first official day of winter, Hofstra head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey was frustrated in the post-game press conference that her team let Stony Brook hang around late in the game after building a large lead.

“The shots that were taken down that stretch, that is not my team,” said Kilburn-Steveskey. “We need to have a voice on the floor, that is really what is missing.”


Hofstra-St. John's in-game blog

I join you for a live blog of the Hofstra-St. John's men's basketball game in the annual Holiday Festival a little late due to some technical difficulties here at Madison Square Garden. Hofstra has battled back from a 24-15 deficit and is now down 32-29 with 3:02 left and a timeout on the floor. A small crowd here in "the World's Most Famous Arena" probably due to the snow and the New York Jets having a big game against the Atlanta Falcons going on at the same time. However there are some vocal Hofstra fans in the crowd.  Let's pick things up from here and I will try and give you the important details of the game as well as the overall atmosphere inside MSG.

First half
1:07- Greg Washington rattles home a medium range jumper. 37-36 St. John's.

0.0 Chaz Williams was unsuccessful with an acrobatic shot while driving to the hoop that would have given Hofstra its first lead of the half. Instead the Pride can take solace that it heads into the locker room down 37-36 after trailing by as many as nine. Stay tuned for the second half, which will hopefully be free of technical issues.

Second half

19:09- Goaltending called on a Chaz Williams shot. Hofstra with its first lead of the game 38-37

17:53- Williams shows why he is a one man fast break and goes coast to coast for the bucket. 40-37 and timeout called by St. John's coach Norm Roberts. Hofstra enters this match up having won four in a row against St. John's but the teams have not met in three years. The winner of this game will face Cornell tomorrow night, as the Big Red defeated Davidson on a three pointer at the buzzer 91-88 in overtime earlier today.

17:17 Nathaniel Lester goes off glass off an inbounds pass. 42-37 Hofstra

16:48- Lester is hot as he hits jumper from corner to give Hofstra a 44-37 lead and force Norm Roberts to burn another timeout


Hofstra-St. John's men's basketball game to be live-blogged

Log onto "Inside the Pride” on Sunday Dec. 20 starting at 2 p.m. for a live blog of the Hofstra men’s basketball game against St. John’s at the Aeropostale Holiday Festival in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden. The blog will provide fans the important details of Hofstra’s first meeting against St. John’s in three years as well as the overall atmosphere inside the “World's Most Famous Arena.” Hofstra enters the St. John’s game 7-3 and on a four game winning streak while the Red Storm are 8-1, with its only loss coming to Duke.

Hofstra women's basketball freshman playing like a veteran

Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications

Not even a broken nose suffered against number-one ranked Connecticut on Nov. 27 could slow down freshman Shante Evans’s quick adjustment from playing girl’s high school basketball in suburban Philadelphia to Division I women’s college hoops. Since the pain she incurred at UConn, the 6’0 forward has pressed ahead with her stellar inside play despite having to wear a mask and through Hofstra’s first nine games leads the Pride in scoring and rebounding.

Thanks to the effort Evans has given in the paint, the Pride are off to a 6-3 start heading into its next game at home versus Stony Brook on Monday night at 7 p.m. In Hofstra’s last game at Manhattan a week ago, Evans scored a career high 22 points along with 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of her young career to help lead the Pride to a 73-65 win.

"She’s the kind of the kid that is so unselfish but yet really competitive and has a lot of goals but she doesn’t let anything get to her head,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey of her star freshman, who is averaging 11.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. “She has the total package.”


Hofstra wrestling benefits from new practice facility

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications 
In another sign of Hofstra wrestling’s steady growth during last decade into one of the premier programs in the nation, a new state-of-the art practice facility was christened for the start of the 2009/2010 season.

The new Teague Ryan Wrestling Complex includes a practice area called the Raymond Downey Sr. Wrestling Room that includes new mats and audio system with state-of-the-art speakers that power the room. The facility also includes the Rudy Fiorvanti Strength and Cardio Center, a video room, new wrestling offices, a student-athlete lounge for academic work and an alumni reception area where past Hofstra wrestlers can visit.

“The new facility we have puts us in a great situation for a lot of reasons,” said Hofstra head wrestling coach Tom Shifflet. “Instead of having just a wrestling room, we made it into a facility where we try to establish something that can fit the needs of everything that these guys need for training.”

In addition to the new Teague Ryan Wrestling Complex aiding the current Pride grapplers, Shifflet is hoping it will also serve as an attraction for potential recruits who covet a facility of this caliber when they select what school to attend.

“You talk to any wrestling program, or really in any sport, the coaches will tell you how important having a nice facility is when it comes to bringing prospects on campus,” said Shifflet. “When you are fitting the needs of the wrestlers and you put a facility like this in and do the renovations, it shows the importance of the program from the coaching staff to the athletic director, to the president of the university, to the alumni….. and that is important to these guys.”

The new facility was constructed inside Hofstra’s Physical Fitness Center thanks to a $250,000 fund-raising drive. The complex is named for the late Teague Ryan, son of former Hofstra wrestling coach Tom Ryan, who tragically died in 2004 at age five from a heart complication. The wrestling room is named for Raymond Downey Sr., a New York City firefighter, who was killed responding to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and had two sons Joe and Ray Jr. wrestle for Hofstra in the 1980s. The strength and cardio center honors Rudy Fiorvanti, who was a captain for the Hofsra wrestling, football and lacrosse teams in the 1970s, and died in April 2007.

 “It certainly brings a breath of fresh air, said Shifflet of what the new complex means to the Hofstra wrestling program for this season and going forward. “It motivates you.”


Hofstra offense brightened in win over UNH

What a difference one game can make. In a 44-39 win over Manhattan Wednesday the Hofstra men’s basketball team’s offense was a cloud of dust but Saturday afternoon the Pride shooting was a ray of sunshine in a 75-58 triumph over New Hampshire at the Mack Sports Complex.

In the ugly offensive struggle against Manhattan Hofstra only shot 35%, but versus UNH the Pride connected on 47% of their shots including 67% from three-point range to post its fourth victory in a row and improve to 7-3 on the young season. Hofstra nearly equaled its entire scoring from the Manhattan game in the first half in taking a 43-31 lead into the locker room and were never seriously threatened in the second half with its lead growing to as many as 24.

“I think [UNH] is one of the best teams in the America East from what everyone has told me, so it is a good win,” said Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora in the post-game press conference. “We can definitely build off of it.”


Hofstra wins ugly defensive struggle over Manhattan

While Hofstra’s offense floundered in Wednesday night’s men’s college basketball game against Manhattan with 35% shooting, the defense shined holding the Jaspers to 21% from the floor. This stingy defensive effort that included holding Manhattan 13:29 in the first half without a field goal helped Hofstra pull off a gritty 44-39 win over its local New York City area non conference rival before a spirited crowd of 3,076 at the Mack Sports Complex.

After Manhattan went up 5-0 1:36 into the game, Hofstra went on a 19-0 run with the Jaspers missing 22 straight shots during its scoring drought that propelled the Pride to a lead it would never relinquish. However despite dominating defensively, Hofstra only led 23-18 at halftime and was never able to pull away in the second half leaving Pride head coach Tom Pecora not satisfied with his team’s overall performance in the post game press conference.

“We looked like a team that wasn’t focused,” said Pecora. “I thought our shot selection was poor.”

“We felt fortunate to only be down by five at the half,” said Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrsen referring to his team giving up a 19-0 run early in the game.

With Hofstra finding a way to win despite not playing well offensively, the Pride finds itself 6-3 heading into the home stretch of the non-conference portion of the schedule with its next game at home versus New Hampshire this Saturday at 4 p.m. 


Capurso on fire in Hofstra women’s basketball win over Providence

Nicole Capurso was not slotted into the Hofstra women’s basketball starting lineup for Tuesday night game against Providence but once she entered the court the Friars did not have an answer for her. The sophomore shooting guard tied her career high with 23 points including five three pointers to lead Hofstra to a 72-68 win over the Big East foe in front of 471 fans at the Mack Sports Complex.

Capurso seemed like she couldn’t miss at times shooting 53% from the floor including 46% from beyond the arc. Her final basket came on a three pointer with 7:43 left that gave Hofstra its largest lead of the second half 60-53 and the Pride managed to survive a late Providence rally for the important win that snaps a three-game losing streak.

“I think every single shot I take is going in,” said Capurso of her mindset before every game. “That is my downfall and my blessing.”


Exciting new developments for Hofstra baseball heading into 2010

While winter is only two weeks away the Hofstra baseball team is eager for spring to blossom with some recent positive developments giving second year head coach Patrick Anderson plenty of optimism for his program in 2010 and beyond.

Some of the exciting news that has unfolded for the Hofstra baseball team in recent months include planned enhancements to University Field for the coming season, an eighth-member recruiting class consisting of top-notch players from around the country, as well as a prized transfer from San Diego State.

The improvements to University Field that are planned for 2010 include 400 new grandstand seats as well as a press box. “We’re so beyond excited about this,” said Coach Anderson of what the facility enhancement will mean for his program.

Playing at the revamped University Field in 2011 will be eight players who Coach Anderson announced on Nov. 25 as part of his latest recruiting class. This renowned group includes Logan Davis (Cave Creek, AZ), Angelo Gargano (Hainesville, IL), Bobby Gazzola (Coram, NY), Kenny Jackson (Ronkonkoma, NY), Everett Keller (Port Washington, NY), Nick Kozlowski (Huntington Station, NY), Matt Reistetter (Hauppauge, NY) and Bryan Verbitsky (Levittown, NY). Anderson is excited for what all these players will bring to the table, especially Davis, who is the son of 1989 National League Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis and can play either infield or pitcher.


Hofstra women’s basketball ramps up intensity to prep for Providence

During back-to-back heartbreaking one-point losses to Clemson and Richmond last weekend in Storrs, Conn., the Hofstra women’s basketball team held late leads but was not able to finish. Much of the theme during this morning’s intense three hour practice at the Mack Sports Complex was preaching how to execute in late-game pressure situations as the Pride get set to end a nine-day layoff with a home game against Providence this Tuesday night.

“Today was a game-like practice,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kliburn-Steveskey adding that each drill this week has been at a high intensity level. “We haven’t written in one practice plan that started off soft.”

After Hofstra (3-3) fell in the final seconds to Richmond 42-41 Sunday afternoon, Kilburn-Steveskey gave her team the next two days to heal mentally and physically as the Pride had just played four games in five days. However once practice resumed on Wednesday she ramped up the intensity to get her players fully prepared for a Big East Conference opponent.


Hofstra women's basketball's behind the scenes preparation vs. UConn featured nationally

Sports fans across the nation now can get an inside glimpse of what life was like for the Hofstra women's basketball team last Friday as the Pride prepared to take on number-one ranked and defending national champion Connecticut at the WBCA Classic. A story highlighting a day in a life of a major underdog like Hofstra getting ready to battle a national powerhouse was featured on ESPN.com yesterday. The Pride proceeded to play UConn tough for much of the first half before falling 91-46. Hofstra then dropped back-to-back one point heartbreakers to Clemson and Richmond the next two days at the WBCA Classic and are 3-3 on the season heading into its next game at home versus Providence on Dec. 8.

Jenkins-Lester duo propels Hofstra to huge win over Fairfield

Monday night was the Charles Jenkins-Nathaniel Lester show with the dynamic scoring duo combing for 67% of Hofstra’s offense in a critical 84-80 win over Fairfield.

Jenkins scored a career-high 38 points including 26 in the second half while Lester tallied 18 to propel Hofstra to come-from-behind second-half win over the Stags. Both veterans hit big second half shots and perhaps no basket was bigger than when Jenkins drained a three-pointer with the shock clock winding down and 1:20 left that gave Hofstra an 82-77 lead. It was one of  five treys he drained in seven attempts.

“Jenkins and Lester] responded,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora in the post-game press conference. “It was nice to see a couple of the veterans step up.”