Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star attackman returns to NLL

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star attackman Athan Iannucci has returned to the the indoor professional ranks after a one year absence due to a knee injury. The British Columbia native has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Wings, the same team the former Hofstra attackman set an NLL scoring record with in 2008 when he registered 71 goals.

In a recent article posted by Lacrosse Magazine Philadelphia Wings owner Michael French said the former Pride player "is in superior physical shape and looks like the Athan of old." Iannucci was a starting attackman for Hofstra from 2004-2006 and in his junior season tied teammate Chris Unterstein as the leading collegiate scorer in the nation with 62 goals and 18 assists while leading the Pride to a 17-2 season and an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

Iannucci, who was denied playing his senior season at Hofstra because of previously competing in a Canadian summer box lacrosse league, played three seasons with the Wings from 2007-2009 before missing all of last year with a knee injury. The former two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association player also had short stints with the Chicago Machine and Toronto Nationals of Major League Lacrosse in 2007 and 2009.

The Wings open their 2011 NLL season on Jan. 8 against the Boston Blazers.


Hofstra men's basketball vs. Holy Cross live-in game blog

The Hofstra men's basketball team will look to enter the Christmas weekend on a high note when it takes on Holy Cross Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex. 
Hofstra (6-4) enters the Holy Cross game winners of five of six including a 71-58 win at Manhattan this past Saturday where Charles Jenkins passed the 2,000-point plateau with 21. Holy Cross began the year 0-8 but picked up its first win at Marist on Sunday 75-57. Wednesday will mark the Crusader's first visit to Hofstra since an ESPN Bracketbuster game on Feb. 17, 2007 that the Pride won 65-64 on two Carlos Rivera free throws with two seconds remaining before a sellout crowd.
Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of the Hofstra-Holy Cross game starting 15 minutes before tip-off Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra women's basketball vs. Hartford in-game blog

As the end of December brings frigid weather to Long Island the Hofstra women's basketball team's play keeps getting hotter with seven straight wins entering a Dec. 22 home matinee with Hartford.

Playing especially hot in the month of December has been Hofstra red-shirt junior point guard Candice Bellocchio, who has tallied a double-double in three of the last four games including 13 points and 10 assists in the Pride's 90-60 win at Albany Monday night. Freshman guard Kate Loper has also begun to heat up and scored a career high 21 points in the Albany win.

Hartford under head coach Jen Rizzotti has been a power in the America East the last decade with five NCAA Tournament appearances in the past eight years. However the Hawks have been struggling this year and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 74-43 win over Dartmouth on Dec. 12.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to match its program-long winning streak of eight games starting 15 minutes before tip-off Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Former Hofstra softball player hits the big screen

Courtesy philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com 
It has been one busy and exciting month of December for former Hofstra softball player Genevieve Haney. Not only was Haney voted in an online contest to be a Philadelphia Phillies Ballgirl next season but the 2008 Hofstra graduate is also appearing on the big screen in a new movie opening this weekend. 

Haney has a part in the new love comedy that hit theaters Friday Dec. 17 called “How Do You Know” starring Reese Witherspoon as a United States Olympic softball All-Star that get’s cut from the team because she is considered too old. Haney plays the role of Ava Bands, Witherspoon’s USA Olympic softball teammate and friend. 

“After hearing about the tryouts in New York I applied and after many interviews, I was fortunate enough to get offered this role,” said Haney, who works fulltime as coordinator of marketing for Villanova University in addition to her new roles as a Phillies Ballgirl and actress.


Longtime college basketball head coach Mike Jarvis gives major praise to Charles Jenkins

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In his more than 20 years coaching college basketball at Boston University, George Washington, St. John’s and now Florida Atlantic Mike Jarvis has coached many talented players including some who wound up in the NBA, and he says Hofstra’s prolific guard Charles Jenkins would stand toe to toe with any of them.
The current Florida Atlantic head coach lauded Jenkins with major praise after the senior guard scored 32 points in a 63-59 Pride loss on Saturday. “He would have started for any one of my teams,” said Jarvis, who is most known for being the St. John’s head coach from 1998-2003.


Hofstra men's basketball vs. Florida Atlantic in-game blog

The long awaited Hofstra debut of versatile guard Brad Kelleher will take place late Saturday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex when the Pride battle Florida Atlantic.

Kelleher's debut with the Pride comes after having to sit out all of last season and the first eight games of the 2010-11 campaign while serving a penalty from the NCAA amateurism clearinghouse. The Victoria, Australia native transferred to Hofstra from Midland College in Texas, where he averaged 9.5 points and 3.3 assists per game during the 2008-09 season.

Kelleher will give Hofatra even more depth in its backcourt, which saw guards Charles Jenkins and Mike Moore explode for 40 and 28 points, respectively in Wednesday's 89-85 overtime win at Binghamton. Hofstra (5-3) will be looking for its fifth straight victory against Florida Atlantic (5-4), which has won two in a row against Mississippi State of the SEC and South Florida of the Big East. The game will be a New York City area homecoming for Florida Atlantic head coach Mike Jarvis, who coached St. John's from 1998-2003 and led the Red Storm to the Elite Eight in 1999.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Kelleher's debut with Hofstra and the Pride's attempt to win its fifth straight game 15 minutes before tipoff at 3:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra wrestling vs. Maryland live in-match blog

The 18th-ranked Hofstra wrestling team will face Maryland in its home opener on Saturday afternoon Dec. 11 at the Physical Education Building (formerly Physical Fitness Center).

The Pride enters the Maryland match at 2-2-1 in dual matches including wins over Edinboro (26-8) and Lindenwood (35-12) and a tie with Oregon State (19-19) along with losses to Purdue (28-6) and Missouri (19-15). Hofstra is coming off a strong 11th-place finish at the 29th annual Cliff Keen-Las Vegas Invitational last weekend, led by senior Lou Ruggirello, who placed third at 133 pounds in the prestigious tournament. Hofstra has six wrestlers ranked in the top 20 by various ranking agencies.

Maryland enters the Hofstra match at 5-2 with wins over McDaniel (40-3), Johns Hopkins (41-3), West Virginia (27-13), Pennsylvania (25-10) and Northern Iowa (19-16).

The Dec. 11 match is taking place at the Physical Education Building rather than the usual Mack Sports Complex because of the Hofstra men’s basketball game scheduled for 4 p.m. that day. Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to continue its climb in the national rankings 15 minutes before the first match Saturday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-match blog.

Candace Bond stepping up offensive game for Hofstra women's basketball

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
As a freshman last season Hofstra women’s basketball guard Candace Bond was known mainly for her intense defensive play but this year as a sophomore the Fort Washington, Md. native has developed into an offensive threat.

Bond, who averaged 2.7 points per game in 34 games off the bench last season, scored a career high 13 points in this past Sunday’s 89-73 win over Fairfield. Bond, who is averaging 6.2 points per game, said after Sunday’s Fairfield win that she has been working hard to refine her offensive game and even got kicked out of the gym once after spending extra time on shooting with teammate Candice Bellocchio.

“I think I’m really developing more of an offensive game.,” said Bond, who has cracked the starting line up early this season after coming off the bench as a freshman. “I’ve really been trying to work on my confidence offensively and then just repetition getting shots up.”

Bond's rock solid defense and improved offensive game has helped Hofstra win four straight after a season-opening loss to Virginia. The Pride will look for their fifth straight win tonight at Niagra starting at 7 p.m.


Cassara putting heavy emphasis on free throw shooting

New Hofstra men's basketball head coach Mo Cassara constantly reminds his players about the importance of free throw shooting and how in each game it can be the difference between winning or losing. His players certainly for the message this past Saturday when the Pride shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in a 74-62 win over Towson in the Colonial Athletic Association opener.

Saturday was the first time Hofstra was perfect from the free throw line since going 10-for-10 against St. John's on Dec. 29, 2006 in the Aeropostale Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. "I talk about [the importance of free throws] all the time and they are sick of hearing me say it," joked Cassara in the post-game press conference after Saturday's win over Towson. "We've been working on it and working on it."

Coach Cassara would not doubt like to see the Pride's season free throw shooting average of 67 percent improve the remainder of the season, but Saturday's perfect showing in the start of conference play is certainly a start. Last season Hofstra shot 73 percent from the charity stripe.


Hofstra women's basketball vs. Fairfield in-game blog

The Hofstra women's basketball team returns from a nearly two week layoff to face Fairfield Sunday afternoon at the Mack Sports Complex.

Sunday's home matinee against Fairfield will be the first for Hofstra (3-1) since winning 80-76 at Providence College on Nov. 22. Fairfield (4-2) is coming off a low scoring 30-29 loss at Villanova on Thursday. Hofstra sophomore guard Shante Evans will try and continue her recent hot play against Fairfield after scoring 26 points and pulling down 15 rebounds at Providence.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to win its fourth in a row starting 15 minutes before tip-off Sunday at 1:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.

Hofstra men's basketball vs. Towson in-game blog

The Hofstra men's basketball team will be looking for its third straight win late Saturday afternoon in its Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener against Towson.

Hofstra (3-3) has rebounded nicely from an 0-3 trip in the Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which included a heartbreaking loss to Western Kentucky where the Pride let a 14-point slip away in the last five minutes, with back-to-back wins over Wagner and Rider. Towson enters the Mack Sports Complex 2-3 but sky high after rallying from a 15-point deficit to defeat Western Michigan at the buzzer 75-73 on Wednesday night. Hofstra's newly implemented zone defense will be tested against Towson's front court of 6'8 Braxton Dupree and 6'7 Isaiah Philmore, who are both averaging double figures coming into Saturday's game.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt to get off to a fast start in CAA play starting 15 minutes before tip-off Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Lou Ruggirello draws inspirtation from previous Hofstra wrestling great

Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
When Hofstra wrestling red-shirt senior Lou Ruggirello looks up into the Mack Sports Complex rafters and sees the retired jersey of Nick Gallo he gets an extra reminder of his chief goal for his final season on the Pride mats. Gallo was Hofstra wrestling’s last and only national champion in 1977 and Ruggierello would like nothing better than to match that feat this coming March. 

“Every time I think about it makes me want to push that much harder to get it done and join his company,” said Ruggierello, who has gotten to know Gallo in recent years and often terms to the former collegiate national champion for advice.


Former Hofstra softball player makes pitch to be Phillies Ballgirl

Courtesy philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com 

A former Hofstra softball player is making a pitch to be a Philadelphia Phillies Ballgirl in 2011.

Genevieve Haney, who played softball at Hofstra from 2005-2008, is one of five finalists for the final Phillies Ballgirl spot open for the 2011 season, and the Major League Baseball team has decided to let fans decide who will earn this coveted job. Hofstra fans can cast their vote for Haney and view a video of the former Pride softball player making her case for the job on the Phillies website. Polls close on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

Haney, a native of Levittown, Pa., was a utility infielder for Hofstra and was apart of Pride teams that captured four straight Colonial Athletic Association titles and won six NCAA Tournament games.


Hofstra baseball excited for Spring season to bloom

With the first pitch of the 2011 Hofstra baseball season about three months away third year head coach Patrick Anderson is excited about the state of his team with a solid nucleus of talented younger players and older veterans determined to bring the program to a new level.

Hofstra finished its fall season late last month and in two days of competition against Nassau Community College and Suffolk Community College scored over 40 runs. “It has been such a good positive experience in the fall,” said Anderson, whose team stayed right in contention for a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) playoff bid until the very end of the 2010 season. “The experience from last spring is just going to bring that confidence going into this spring as well.”


Hofstra soccer teams have magical runs in 2010

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Midfielder Tiffany Yovino was a major reason for Hofstra's magical 2010 season.
The Hofstra women’s and men’s soccer teams saw their seasons draw to a close this past weekend but both teams will be able to look back on 2010 with their heads held high knowing great strides were made with bright futures lying ahead.

The Hofstra women’s soccer team broke a school-record with 18 wins in a row and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing a hard-fought battle to 18th-ranked Boston College 3-1. The Hofstra men’s soccer team rallied from being in 11th place in the conference standings at midseason to go unbeaten in seven straight games before falling to William & Mary 4-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association title game.

“I was proud of this team from the beginning all the way through to the end,” said Hofstra women’s soccer head coach Simon Riddiough, whose team finished the year ranked 23rd nationally. “The team came together fantastically."


Hofstra women's basketball vs. Saint Peter's in-game blog

The Hofstra women's basketball team will look to rebound from its hard fought season-opening loss last Friday to Virginia when it takes in Saint Peter's College at the Mack Sports Complex on Monday evening.

Hofstra hung tough with Virginia and was tied with the Atlantic Coast Conference power at 47-47 with 11 minutes remaining before the Cavaliers pulled away for an 82-66 win. Saint Peter's is also coming off a season-opening loss falling at Sacred Heart 65-48 on Friday. Hofstra and Saint Peter's last met on Dec. 30, 2008 in Jersey City, N.J. with the Pride coming away with a 64-57 overtime win.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's attempt for its first win of the 2010-11 season starting 15 minutes before tip-off Monday at 6:45 p.m. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Freshman defender leads Hofstra men's soccer's surge into CAA Tourney

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Hofstra men’s soccer team has achieved quite the turnaround in 2010 from being in 11th place midway through the season to going unbeaten in its last six games to quality for the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. In that final six game stretch where Hofstra went 4-0-2 the Pride only gave up one goal and the Pride’s staunch defensive play has been keyed in large part by freshman Shaun Foster, who has quickly become a leader on and off the field in his year of collegiate soccer.

Foster was recognized for his solid backline play by earning both the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the fort freshman to accomplish either feat. The England native is the first player in CAA Men's Soccer history to win two major awards in the same season.

Hofstra women's basketball vs. Virginia in-game blog

The Hofstra women’s basketball team is opening its 2010-11 season in grand style Friday night with a home game against Atlantic Coast Conference power Virginia.

Hofstra enters the new season with high expectations thank to returning eight starters from last year’s 20-14 team that advanced to the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. Virginia finished last year 21-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers will be the first ACC team to visit the Mack Sports Complex since Georgia Tech narrowly defeated Hofstra 77-74 during the 2000-01 season.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's quest to start off the 2010-11 season with a signature win starting 15 minutes before tip-off Friday night at 6:45 p.m.  Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Hofstra women's soccer vs. JMU in-game blog

The 18th-ranked Hofstra women's soccer team will try and make it 19 wins in a row against James Madison University (JMU) in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title game Sunday afternoon and at the same time clinch an automatic bid to the College Cup. 

The Pride (18-1) reached the conference title game with a convincing 3-0 win over Georgia State in the CAA semifinals Friday night. A win over the Dukes could put Hofstra in strong position to be a host site for the first and second rounds of the College Cup next weekend. Hofstra last faced JMU in the CAA opener on Sept. 24 with the Pride winning 1-0 on a direct kick goal by defender Amy Turner. 

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's quest to clinch its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 starting 15 minutes before kickoff Sunday afternoon. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Hofstra women's soccer vs. Georgia State in-game blog

The 18th-ranked Hofstra women's soccer team enters Friday night's Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament semifinal game at home against Georgia State winners of a national-best 17 in a row and are two wins away from punching an automatic bid to the College Cup.

The Pride (17-1) are ranked 13th in the latest ratings percentage index released by the NCAA and should be in prime position for an at-large College Cup bid should it fail to capture the CAA's automatic bid this weekend. However head coach Simon Riddiough would love nothing better than to take the decision on of the NCAA Selection Committee's hands by winning the CAA Tournament this weekend, something the Pride last accomplished in 2007. This is the first time Hofstra has hosted the CAA Tournament since 2003 when the Pride fell in 1-0 in the semifinals to William & Mary.

Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's quest to extend its winning streak to 18 games starting 15 minutes before kickoff Friday night. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Hofstra women's lacrosse holds fundraiser for program featuring numerous youth teams

The Hofstra women’s lacrosse team hosted its second of two 2010 fall festivals this past Halloween weekend featuring numerous youth girls lacrosse teams from the New York City region who picked up their sticks to raise money for the Pride program.

For the last decade the Hofstra women’s lacrosse program has been holding fall festivals as fundraisers featuring seven-on-seven games of players from both youth and high schools teams from throughout the metropolitan area. The participation fees paid by each player for the festivals, which this year were held on the weekends of Sept. 18 and 19 and Oct. 30 and 31, goes to benefit the Hofstra women’s lacrosse program. Hofstra women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan said for each weekend festival there are about 600 players who participate.

“It is really great because everyone just has a great time,” said Hofstra women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan. “It is always a great event.”

Pride women’s lacrosse players took part in officiating the many games that were held on Hofstra's north campus intramural fields. Hofstra players also held a clinics as part of the festivities.

Morgan said in addition to raising money for her program the fall festivals are also a great chance to expose Hofstra to some of the area’s top players, which can prove to be advantageous when it comes to recruiting. Each player who participated in the fall festivals received a Hofstra women’s lacrosse t-shirt.

“It is great to have the local high schools on campus and the club teams and they all get to see what Hofstra is all about,” said Morgan. “It is good exposure for us as a school.”


Hofstra lacrosse teams continue to honor Nick Colleluori through fall events

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Hofstra women's lacrosse team with the Colleluori family.
The Hofstra men’s and women’s lacrosse teams continued their efforts of keeping the memory of the late Nick Colleluori alive in two separate fall events that raised more than a quarter million dollars for blood cancer research.

The fourth annual Nick Colleluori Classic at Ridley High School in suburban Philadelphia, which featured 20 men’s lacrosse teams including Hofstra, is estimated to have raised around $250,000. The second annual Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic held on Sept. 25 at Hofstra raised over $42,000. Both of these charity events are aimed at raising money for blood cancer research and to keep alive the memory alive of Colleluori, a former Hofstra men’s lacrosse defenseman who passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Nov. 28, 2006 at the age of 21 after a courageous 14-month battle with the disease.

“It is great for our players to see what they can do and how lacrosse can change things outside of just the lacrosse world,” said Hofstra women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan.


Maren Crowley leading improved Hofstra women's program straight out of college

Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
Three years ago when Maren Crowley was competing as a senior for the Hofstra women’s golf team the finance major had no vision that one day she would be coaching the sport she loves on the collegiate level. However soon after graduating Hofstra in May 2008 the unique opportunity of Crowley coaching her alma mater presented itself after the retirement of head coach Bob Schwalb, and she is sure glad of the decision to re-shift career paths.

Despite being fresh out of college Crowley was approached for the Hofstra women’s golf head coaching position because of her experience working for the Metropolitan PGA as an assistant manager on the Long Island Junior Golf Tour since 2004. “My name just got thrown in the mix after my coach left and they approached me about it and I jumped all over it because it was a great opportunity,” said Crowley, a Savyille High School graduate who posted four top-20 finishes during her four-year Hofstra golf career.


Hofstra women's soccer vs. UNC Wilmington in-game blog

Tune into "Inside the Pride" starting at 12:45 p.m. Sunday for a live blog of the 22nd-ranked Hofstra women's soccer team taking on UNC Wilmington. Hofstra enters Sunday afternoon's 1 p.m. game coming off a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Georgia State Friday night to clinch the regular season Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title. The Pride have won 15 in a row and will try and maintain its national ranking with a victory over the Seahawks, who enter Sunday's game at third place in the CAA standings. Check in with "Inside the Pride" for live updates of Hofstra's second-to-last regular season game of the 2010 season starting 15 minutes before kickoff Sunday. Comments and questions are also welcome and encouraged during the live in-game blog.


Hofstra men's lacrosse concludes fall season with high hopes for 2011

The Hofstra men’s lacrosse team has concluded its fall season and is gearing up for a 2011 campaign  that will be filled with lofty expectations thanks to a deep roster of several returning starters combined with the addition of experienced Division I transfers.

“This is the deepest team that we’ve had since I’ve been associated with Hofstra lacrosse both as an assistant and as a head coach,” said fifth-year Hofstra men’s lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney, who also served as an assistant coach with the program from 1995-2000.

Among the Division I transfers that worked this fall to get acclimated into the Hofstra system were midfielders Ian Braddish (North Carolina), Steve Serling (Lafayette) and faceoff specialist Zachary Pall (Quinnipiac). Tierney said the transfer who impressed the most in fall ball was Serling, who graduated from Lafayette last year but is using his fourth year of college eligibility at Hofstra as a graduate student. 

“He’s got great poise, makes good decisions with the ball, is athletic and gets to the goal,” said Tierney of the 6’0 Serling, who led Lafayette in scoring last year with 37 goals and 12 assists.


Hofstra women's soccer defensive midfielder adds some offensive punch to aide national ranking

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The 23rd ranked Hofstra women’s soccer has received many contributions during its current 13-game winning streak on both offense and defense. One Pride player aiding on both ends of the field during Hofstra’s magical run has been versatile red-shirt junior defensive midfielder Brittany Butts, who after two years of rock solid defensive play has added some offensive punch to her game

Butts scored her first career goal in a 3-1 win at Big Ten power Indiana on Sept. 12 and added her second tally in a 4-1 triumph over Towson on Oct. 8. “Everyone makes fun of me because I’m always the one to never score, never shoot so hopefully I’m turning that around,” said Butts. “It feels nice to finally get some goals in the back of the net.”


Hofstra women's soccer team reflects on record winning streak

The Hofstra women’s soccer team’s magical 2010 season hit new heights Friday night when the Pride broke a program record with its 11th straight victory over Towson. The streak, which hit 12 games after Sunday’s 5-0 win over George Mason, has special meaning to both head coach Simon Riddiough and his players, who are hoping the winning ways continues all the way to an NCAA Tournament berth.

“It’s a milestone,” said Coach Riddiough of the winning streak, which broke a Hofstra women’s soccer record previously set in 2005. “You always want to build tradition and the more records we break with winning streaks, the more likelihood we start to get recognized as a standout program.”


Hofstra field hockey looks to continue home success against national power Old Dominion

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
It has been a tale of home and away for Hofstra field hockey so far in 2010 with the Pride a perfect 6-0 on the friendly turf of Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium but a winless 0-7 on the road. After winning a must-win game over William & Mary 3-0 on Friday afternoon to keep its postseason hopes alive, Hofstra (6-7, 1-3 in Colonial Athletic Association) will look to keep the home magic cooking this Sunday with another crucial contest against 19th ranked Old Dominion.  

“Knowing that we know this turf and we play on it every day it definitely helps our confidence level,” said Hofstra junior goalkeeper Amanda Heyde (pictured), who recorded her second shutout of the season with an eight save performance against William & Mary on Friday.


Hofstra women's soccer defender Amy Turner keys Pride winning streak

Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
The Hofstra women’s soccer team is in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and a major reason for the Pride’s success has been the play of sophomore defender Amy Turner, who has anchored a back line that has recorded five shutouts in its last six games.

After playing every game at center back last season, Turner has stepped into more of a leadership role on defense in 2010 following the graduation of All-Colonial Athletic Association defender Diane Caldwell. “It is a big responsibility in that back four,” said Turner of being a key catalyst to the Pride’s successful defense this season. “We are really strong back there.”


Former Hofstra star lacrosse player Nicky Polanco to appear on hit MTV series

Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star defenseman Nicky Polanco will get some national exposure this week when he makes an appearance on the hit MTV series “Made.”

In the episode that premiers on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m., Polanco, a 2002 Hofstra graduate and current Long Island Lizards defenseman, serves as a coach for a Long Island teenager who wanted to make her high school lacrosse team. A sneak peak of Polanco’s MTV appearance can be found on the network’s website.

Polanco, who helped lead Hofstra to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001, has played in Major League Lacrosse the last nine years including the past six seasons with the Lizards. The Rockville Centre native and Oceanside High School product was named to the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) 10-Year Anniversary Team in August.


Longtime Hofstra athletics administrator Cindy Lewis proud to see growth of women's sports since her playing days

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In the mid to late 1970’s when Hofstra’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics Cindy Lewis played field hockey and lacrosse at Berner High School in Massapequa, N.Y. and then for Hofstra, the climate of female sports was a very different story from where it is today. Lewis’s playing career came in the midst of America’s groundbreaking Title IX legislation being implemented, to ensure that female athletes had the same opportunities as their male counterparts, and the longtime Hofstra athletics administrator recalls how slow a process this was.

Today Lewis is happy to see that female athletics is thriving at Hofstra and throughout the country, and that the early days of Title IX’s implementation are becoming more and more distant. On Sept. 20 Lewis was honored at the 22nd annual Hofstra Pride Golf Classic and Auction for her 30 years of dedicated service to Hofstra’s athletics program, which has included helping to position the  women’s sports programs to be able to compete at the highest level. The golf classic is Hofstra’s signature fundraising event for the university’s athletics department, and this year in honor of Lewis the proceeds were used to benefit the school’s Women’s Athletic Fund. 


Nikki Kinnier battles back from injury to be key leader of Hofstra volleyball team

Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
After suffering a season-ending stress facture injury last year only six matches into her college volleyball career, Hofstra freshman outside hitter Nikki Kinnier immediately became determined to return to the court. Following many months of extensive rehab Kinnier is back in full force this fall and as only a red-shirt freshman has become one of Hofstra volleyball’s key leaders on and off the court.

In four of Hofstra’s first 16 matches Kinnier has posted double digits in both kills and digs. In the Pride’s three-game sweep of Fairfield on Wednesday night Sept. 22 at the Mack Sports complex, Kinnier recorded 13 kills and 12 digs.

“She keeps trying to get better and trying to take on this bigger role and bigger responsibility,” said Hofstra volleyball head coach Kristina Hernandez. “She is a tough competitor."


Hofstra field hockey team confident heading into CAA play

Fresh off a 6-0 romp of Siena Sunday, the Hofstra field hockey team is sky high with confidence as it gets sets for Friday afternoon's Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opener at 14th ranked Drexel.

After losing the first two games to Boston University and Albany, the Pride (5-3) have won five of six including back-to-back shutouts of Fairfield and Siena this past weekend. "Our confidence is very high right now," said Hofstra field hockey head coach Kathy De Angelis. "We do know that we are coming to a team [Drexel] that is one of the top teams in the country and we feel that our performance in the past eight games has prepared us for this coming day."

With All-CAA midfielder Amy-Lee Levey red-shirting this year due to injury, other Pride players have stepped up on offense led by junior Genna Kovar (22 points), Krizia Layne (16 points) and Arielle Williams (13 points). "We're all stepping up and coming together as a team," said Kovar, who earned third-team All-American accolades last year.

Hofstra’s CAA opener at Drexel starts at 4 p.m. Friday Sept. 24 followed by a Sunday road tilt at Ivy League power Yale. Following conference road games next weekend at 17th ranked James Madison and Virginia Commonwealth, the Pride return to the friendly confines of Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium versus William & Mary and Old Dominion on Oct. 8 and 10th.


A time to reflect on greatest teams, games and individuals in Hofstra athletics history

As Hofstra celebrates its 75th anniversary starting this coming weekend, the Pride athletics program is urging people to vote on the top 25 teams, players and games in the university's history.  

Since being founded in 1935 Hofstra has enjoyed stellar success in a variety of men's and women’s sports, and pinpointing the top games, teams and individuals is certainly no easy task.  I have been following Hofstra sports very closely since first becoming a member of the university family as a freshman in the fall of 1998, and have included just a tiny portion of my choices in this voting and reasons behind these decisions. I limited my choices to the 12 years I have been following Hofstra sports, but obviously there are many more from prior years that also needs to be supported by fans before voting concludes on Sept. 23.
Greatest Team Category:
  • 2000 and 2001 men's basketball: Both these teams, who captured the American East title and automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament, are no brainers. Hofstra had a backcourt of two future NBA players in Craig "Speedy" Claxton and Norman Richardson on the 2000 team and in both years the American East title was won at home before a live ESPN audience
  • 2004 softball: The 2004 Hofstra softball team (38-21) did not dominate the regular season record wise but more than made up for this in the post-season with a magical NCAA Tournament run that left the Pride just one win shy of reaching the College World Series.  
  • 1999 men's lacrosse: The 1999 men's lacrosse (13-3) team showed plenty of toughness on and off the field rebounding from an 0-2 start to win 13 in a row on the way to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Two weeks after pulling off a dramatic comeback win over second ranked Johns Hopkins, Hofstra battled that same Blue Jays team hard before falling 11-7 before a Shuart Stadium record crowd of 12,222 in the NCAA Quarterfinals.


Hofstra women's soccer Big Ten Sweep could play major dividends come November

Fresh off a Big Ten road sweep of Purdue and Indiana this past weekend, Hofstra women’s soccer head coach Simon Riddiough is hopeful that these two signature wins will play major dividends toward the Pride’s goals of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

Hofstra earned a pair of 3-1 wins over the Big Ten powers Friday and Saturday night, which will give the Pride a major boost in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings, an important factor used to determine who received at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament in November. Riddiough expects both Indiana and Purdue to be in the top 50 RPI this season and feels wins over both of these teams will go a long way toward boosting Hofstra’s NCAA Tournament at-large resume should the Pride not capture the Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) automatic bid.

Riddiough described this past weekend as the biggest regular season moment for the Hofstra women’s soccer program, which started in 1992. “From a national perspective, from a tradition perspective, from a reputation perspective I think it is the best weekend we have ever had,” said Riddiough. “The girls put everything into it emotionally and physically."

While jubilant on the plane ride back to New York over what the Pride had accomplished, many of the players were also exhausted both physically and mentally, according to Riddiough. He gave them Monday off and work will now begin on preparation for Hofstra’s next game at Columbia this Friday night. Riddiough does not expect there to be a letdown

“Fortunately this is a local rivalry,” said Riddiough. “Hopefully that is enough to get us motivated.”


Former Hofstra men's lacrosse All American James Metzger to be honored for his charitable contributions

 Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In recent years former standout Hofstra men’s lacrosse player James Metzger has made significant contributions to Pride athletics including gifts that enabled locker room facility enhancements and the creation of The Hallway Traditions Project in Margiotta Hall. The former NCAA All American attackman will be recognized for his charitable work beyond Hofstra later this month when he will be one of two honorees at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) 2010 Presidential Gala.

Metzger, who is chief executive officer of The Whitmore Group in Garden City, N.Y., was first introduced to BBBSLI by former Hofstra men’s lacrosse players E. David Woycik and Mark Cox, the chief development officer for the charitable organization. Metzger along with fellow Hofstra alumnus Andrew F. Corrado, who is market president for Capital One Bank in Nassau County, will be honorees at the BBBSLI’s Presidential Gala on Sept. 23 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y. BBBSLI provides volunteer mentors to children who are in need of an additional positive, caring adult in their lives.

“Long Island has given me so much and I felt it was time that I give back,” said Metzger, a graduate of Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills, N.Y. and a 1983 Hofstra alumnus, of his decision to become involved with BBBSLI. “It is compelling for me to be involved with this charity.”

Metzger now lives in Manhattan but Long Island has remained a huge cornerstone of his life, and running a company in Garden City has enabled convenient access to his passion for Hofstra athletics and the university as a whole. In addition to his contributions to Pride athletics Metzger also has funded a summer internship within the university's Center for Civic Engagement in honor of longtime Hofstra History Professor Michael D’Innocenzo. Metzger was also a platinum sponsor for an event this past February that raised funds for Hofstra student scholarships called “Night of the Broadway Stars”, which honored his former high school and college lacrosse teammate Joseph Corcoran, co-founder of TheaterMania.com.

“My time at Hofstra was invaluable,” said Metzger of why he has chosen to give so much back to his alma mater. “I attribute a great deal of my success in business to my athletic background, particularly the time I spent playing lacrosse at Hofstra.”

“Jim Metzger’s leadership and generosity have been instrumental to our athletics program,” said Hofstra Athletic Director Jack Hayes. “He cares about the student-athletes and he knows that athletic success is an important public relations tool for promoting the University.”

One major regret Metzger has is that he only played two years of lacrosse at Hofstra. After his All-American sophomore season in 1980, where he scored 21 goals and tallied 28 assists in just 10 games, Metzger decided to end his lacrosse career. As the years went on Metzger wished he had played his final two years at Hofstra and often speaks to young athletes about how they should make the most of their opportunities when they are young.

“As a 50-year old guy I’d love to have that eligibility back,” he said.

After giving up the sport he grew up with following the 1980 season, Metzger went the next 25 years without even watching a lacrosse game of any kind. He then got brought back into following the sport thanks to the resurgence of his nephew Rob Pannell, who was an All American at Smithtown West High School and is now a star attackman at Cornell. Metzger is now an avid follower of both the Hofstra men's and women's lacrosse programs and attends nearly every home game.

Since becoming heavily involved supporting his alma mater Metzger has developed close relationships with Hayes and Hofstra men’s lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney, who will both be attending the Sept. 23 BBBSLI event honoring him. Metzger is proud of the recent accomplishments Hofstra has seen both on and off the field and is excited to see even greater strides in the coming years.

“I look forward to the continued growth of the university and the continued enhancement of the brand,” said Metzger. “I’m a proud alumnus and I’ll continue to support the university in a number of ways.”


Hofstra volleyball head coach has grown to love the "City By the Sea."

Since moving to Long Island to become head Hofstra volleyball coach in 2008 from Loyola (Md.) College, Kristina Hernandez has called Long Beach home and living in the "City By the Sea" is an enjoyable experience for the Texas native.

Hernandez's love of Long Beach both for what the Nassau County South Shore city offers in terms of being located by the ocean as well as the many volleyball leagues available in the area, was featured today in Long Beach Patch. Hernandez is coming off a summer in which she got to serve as head coach of the USA Volleyball Women's Junior Continental Team.

Hofstra volleyball's next home match is scheduled for this Wednesday evening Sept. 1 against Iona College starting at 7 p.m. in the Physical Education Building.


Former Hofstra lacrosse star defenseman Nicky Polanco makes MLL's 10-year anniversary team

Former Hofstra men's lacrosse star defenseman Nicky Polanco was recognized as one of the best in the sport on August 21. The 2002 Hofstra graduate and current Long Island Lizards defenseman was named to the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) 10-Year Anniversary Team, which recognizes the greatest players of the past decade at each position.

Polanco, who helped lead Hofstra to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2001, has played in the MLL the last nine years including the past six seasons with the Lizards. The Rockville Centre native and Oceanside High School product won MLL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2004 and 2005. Polanco's Lizards fell in the MLL title game 13-9 to the Chesapeake Bayhawks on August 22 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.