Hofstra women's soccer star Diane Caldwell to play field hockey for Pride in 2010

Picture courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications

On Nov. 6 when the Hofstra women’s soccer team’s 2009 season ended in heartbreaking fashion after a 2-1 overtime defeat to UNC-Wilmington it brought incredible heartache for senior defender Diane Caldwell, who suddenly saw her Pride career playing the sport she loved come to a close. The pain still lingers from that early November defeat on the turf of Northeastern’s Parsons Field but Caldwell’s Hofstra’s collegiate career is now being resurrected with a stick.

The Ireland native has earned a spot on Hofstra’s field hockey team and will play for head coach Kathy De Angelis in the 2010 season while she attends graduate school. Caldwell, who played field hockey for Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Balbriggan, Ireland, decided to workout with the Hofstra sticklers last spring and after impressing the coaches with her athletic play in the backfield has been added to the roster for the 2010 season.

“When my four years were up with soccer I was obviously a little disappointed because you don’t want it to end so soon but having [ a chance to play field hockey] gives me another year to enjoy and stay here at Hofstra,” said Caldwell, who played soccer for the Ireland National Team in 2008. “To go into a Division I program is not going to be easy by any means but it is a new challenge for me and I am just looking forward to it because it is these challenges that make life exciting.”


Delaware free throw struggles help aid Hofstra win

With 4:32 left in Saturday’s Hofstra-Delaware men’s basketball game and the Pride clinging to a 58-56 lead after leading by as many as 13 in the second half, the Blue Hen's Jamelle Hagins stepped to the foul line with a chance to knot the score. He would only make one his two attempts, which summed up Delaware’s day from the charity stripe that included 14 misses and was a huge factor in a 77-67 Pride victory.

Hofstra (11-12, 4-7 in Colonial Athletic Association) led wire to wire before a large crowd of 4,019 at the Mack Sports Complex but had Delaware shot better than 24-38 (63 percent) from the free throw line the game would have been far different. The Blue Hens (6-16, 2-9 in CAA) also struggled shooting from the floor (35 percent) but managed to stick around for much of the game before the Pride iced the game in the final minute from the free throw line to make the 77-67 final score a bit misleading. Hofstra allowed Delaware to stay in the game due in large part to shooting 43 percent from the floor and being outrebounded 41-36, including giving up 19 offensive boards.

“The longer you let teams hang around, you know they are going to come up with a run at some point,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora of his team’s inability to put Delaware away earlier despite their shooting woes.


Hofstra men's basketball breaks out of slump with blowout of UNC-Wilmington

The Hofstra and UNC-Wilmington men’s basketball programs have played in several classics including at least one overtime game every year since the 2006/07 season.  Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex was not one of these memorable close games however as the Pride jumped out to as big as a 28 point first half lead and rolled to a 93-54 win to snap a five game losing streak.

“We haven’t had one of those in it feels like 100 years,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora after the Pride picked up its first win since a 77-61 victory over Towson on Jan. 6 to improve to 10-7 and 3-7 in the Colonial Athletic Association.

After jumping to a 54-25 halftime lead Hofstra’s lead ballooned to as high as 42 in the second half with the Pride shooting 57 percent for the game. The 54 points in the game’s first 20 minutes was Hofstra’s highest scoring first half since Pecora took over as head coach in the 2001/02 season. 


Too much Delle Donne in Hofstra women's basketball loss to Delaware

Elena Delle Donne entered Sunday afternoon’s game with Hofstra as women’s college basketball’s fourth leading scorer and her versatile offensive skills were on full display for the 1,388 fans at the Mack Sports Complex. The 6’5 freshman sensation, who initially committed to national powerhouse Connecticut as the number one recruit in the country, scored 35 points including clutch back-to-back three pointers in the second half that paced the Blue Hens to a 71-65 win over the Pride.
“We were a little star struck for some reason,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey of how she felt her team responded to going up against someone of Delle Donne’s caliber.
With the loss to Colonial Athletic Association rival Delaware, the Pride drop into a three-way tie with William & Mary and Towson for sixth place in the conference standings.   


Hofstra wrestling falls to Missouri; Coach Shifflet hopes win by Bonilla-Bowman inspires team

In the midst of Friday night’s 34-7 loss to 17th ranked Missouri, Hofstra wrestling head coach Tom Shifflet is hoping his team got inspired by a dominant performance put in by one of his senior grapplers. Seventeen-ranked Jonny Bonilla-Bowman picked up one of Hofstra’s two wins on the Mack Sports Complex mats in a convincing fashion 21-10 over Tiger sophomore Patrick Wright, a performance Shifflet wants to see from his other grapplers as the home stretch of the 2009/10 season gets set to take shape.

“He took a top 20 guy and basically broke the kid by the third period where he was able to do whatever he wanted,” said Coach Shifflet of Bonilla-Bowman’s effort Friday night, which turned out to be one of only two Pride wins on the evening. “When these guys sit on the bench and watch him they see what he is doing and they need to follow in his foot steps quite honestly because that is the effort we want out of everybody. With guys showing up like that we’ll be back to where we used to be.”


Hofstra women's basketball offense wakes up in win over William & Mary

For the first 10:32 of Thursday night’s Hofstra-William & Mary women’s basketball game the Pride were shooting under 20 percent and only had six points but luckily for the Pride the visiting Tribe's shooting was not much better. After being able to withstand some early offensive woes, Hofstra found its shooting touch the remainder of the game to post a 68-51 victory for its third win in four games.

Thursday night’s win by Hofstra (10-8, 3-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association)  avenges a 55-48 loss at William & Mary 18 days ago in the conference opener where the Pride let a six point lead with 6:39 left slip away. In the rematch with the Tribe, Hofstra had three players in double-figures led by freshman power forward Shante Evans, who had her ninth career double-double with 18 points on 9-12 shooting and 18 rebounds. “

“[Evans] is just relentless,” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, who notched her 57th career victory Thursday to move into third place in the program’s all-time wins list in just her fourth season. “She is a special player because of so many attributes.”


Hofstra men's basketball team's defensive struggles continue in loss to George Mason

In a 73-66 loss at William & Mary on Saturday the Hofstra men’s basketball team were outscored 25-11 in the final 9:14. The defensive struggles continued for the Pride three nights later against George Mason with its Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival shooting 56 percent in a 90-72 win to send Hofstra further to the bottom of the standings near the midway part of the conference season.

With Tuesday night’s loss before 2,573 at the Mack Sports Complex., Hofstra (9-11, 2-6 in the CAA) has now lost six of seven games to start the new year and finds itself in10th place in the conference standings. “I obviously have not been getting through to these guys in regards to what I need them to do and the energy I need them to play with,” said Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora. “I will not sleep with a team giving up 90 points.”

In the first half George Mason was lights out from three point range nailing six of 10 from behind the arc (60 percent) to take a 38-30 lead into the locker room. In the second half the Patriots were hot from all areas of the floor shooting 67 percent. It was the first the Pride had given up 90 points in regulation at home since a 93-75 loss to Manhattan on Dec. 23, 2002.


Kelleher staying positive despite NCAA ruling

Despite the frustration of not getting cleared to play for the 2009/2010 season, Hofstra men's basketball shooting guard Brad Kelleher has been handling the news with class, Pride head coach Tom Pecora stated during Monday morning’s weekly Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Teleconference.

The NCAA declared Kelleher ineligible for the remainder of the season last week citing an application he signed with a professional team in his native Australia five years ago being equal to a contract. However despite the bad news that came down last week, the transfer from Midland College in Texas has been doing his best to keep a positive attitude in the midst of his frustration and confusion over the NCAA’s decision.

“He’s been tremendous,” said Coach Pecora during the weekly CAA Teleconference of Kelleher’s attitude in the wake of not getting cleared to play by the NCAA. “He is a class young guy.”

Prior to the start of the 2009/2010 season the 6’0 Kelleher was slated to start at shooting guard for the Pride and be a key offensive weapon on the perimeter. During his freshman season at Midland the 6’0 Kelleher was sixth in the nation in three-point shooting percentage, connecting on 44 percent from beyond the arc.


Former Hofstra lacrosse teammates to have "starring roles" in upcoming theater benefit

Two former Hofstra men's lacrosse teammates from the early 1980’s will have "starring roles" in an upcoming theater benefit performance for student scholarships that will feature some of the most memorable songs ever performed on Broadway.

On Feb. 6 a "Night of Broadway Stars" will be held at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on Hofstra’s south campus with the evening’s honoree being TheaterMania.com co-founder Joseph Corcoran, who played lacrosse for the “blue and gold’ under head coach Harry Royle from 1979-1982. James C. Metzger, who was Corcoran’s lacrosse teammate at both Hofstra and Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills, N.Y., is a platinum sponsor for the benefit event that will feature songs performed by veteran professional actors and actresses from hit Broadway shows like Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll & Hyde, Hair and Mamma Mia!

Both Corcoran and Metzger have excelled in the business world since their playing days at Hofstra. After deciding to leave a lucrative job with Wall Street giant Bear Stearns in 1988, Corcoran and his brother Dan acquired the worldwide rights to produce, license and authorize performances of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, which was originally conceived by 1981 Hofstra drama graduates Mark Nasser and Nancy Cassaro. He has since gone on to be a principal of Joe Corcoran Productions and co-founded TheaterMania.com, which has become a household name in theater news, listings, editorial works and ticketing systems.


VCU offense proves too much for shorthanded Hofstra men's basketball

Tuesday night concluded a grueling five-game in 10-day stretch to begin Colonial Athletic Association play for the Hofstra men’s basketball team and the task of defeating the defending conference champion Virginia Commonwealth was made even more challenging without the services of guard Chaz Williams and forward David Imes.

With only seven scholarship players available for Hofstra due to ankle injuries suffered by Williams and Imes in a loss at Old Dominion last Saturday, VCU’s up-tempo offense proved too much to handle in an 81-68 loss before 2,224 fans at the Mack Sports Complex. It was Hofstra’s fourth loss in five conference games to begin the new decade and drops the Pride to 9-9 and 2-4 in the CAA.

Despite playing so many games in a short period and being shorthanded, Hofstra men’s basketball head coach Tom Pecora said after the loss that those factors are no excuse for a performance that included committing 17 turnovers and only getting to the foul line 12 times.  “We’re beyond excuses,” said Pecora. “We are what we are right now. We’re a .500 team, we’re 2-4 in the conference and we better find a way to win the next one.”


Hofstra women's basketball picks up first CAA win with triumpth of Georgia State

Being in the midst of a four-game losing streak and facing the prospect of an 0-3 conference start, the Hofstra women’s basketball team came into its Jan. 10th home game against Georgia State with a sense of urgency and it showed on defense. After quickly falling behind 5-0 the Pride held the Panthers to only four field goals the remainder of the first half.

Hofstra’s ability to hold Georgia State’s offense at bay with only 30 percent shooting for the game helped the Pride (8-7, 1-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association) pick up a critical 58-49 win to avoid that dreaded 0-3 conference start.

“We’ve weathered a nice tornado, tsunami and we’re getting out of [the storm],” said Hofstra women’s basketball head coach Krista Kilburn- Steveskey of the Pride snapping its five-game losing streak.


Hofstra women's basketball sees perfect home record end in loss to Towson

Following three tough road losses in Texas and Southern Virginia the Hofstra women’s basketball team returned the friendly confines of the Mack Sports Complex for Thursday night’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) home opener against Towson. However despite the Pride coming into the game with a perfect 5-0 record in Hempstead, Hofstra’s home court proved much friendlier to Towson with the Tigers jumping out to an 18-point halftime lead and holding on for a 66-58 win.
Hofstra (7-7, 0-2 in CAA) dug itself a huge early hole thanks to a first half performance that included shooting 21 percent and committing 10 turnovers. Towson meanwhile shot 40 percent from the floor in the first half including five of eight from three-point range. Towson led by as many as 21 in the second half.
After defeating Stony Brook on Dec. 21 Hofstra has dropped four in a row including road defeats to Southern Methodist, Rice and William & Mary.


Hofstra women's basketball keeping positive even as close losses mount

The Hofstra women's basketball team has incurred much heartbreak early in the 2009/10 season with four of its six losses occurring when the Pride held leads late into the game and three of those coming by a single point. However even in the wake of Hofstra's latest setback at William & Mary 55-48 in which the Pride led 42-36 with 6:39 left before giving up a game-ending 19-6 run, head coach Krista Kliburn-Steveskey's players are keeping a positive attitude heading into their next game against Towson on Thursday.
Speaking during a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Coaches Media Teleconference call this afternoon," Coach Kilburn-Steveskey emphasized that the Pride are not letting the close losses get them down. "Demoralized isn't even in our vocabulary," said Kilburn-Steveskey of her team's mindset after the William & Mary loss Sunday. "We will fight through this."
Hofstra enters Thursday's CAA home opener against Towson 7-6 with three of those losses coming by one point to Clemson, Richmond and Southern Methodist. "It's been somewhat of an up and down struggle," said Kilburn-Steveskey of the Pride's rollercoaster season heading into the CAA schedule. "We are definitely going to get back on track hopefully with Towson on Thursday."
Towson enters Thursday's contest 7-5 including a 67-55 upset of Atlantic Coast Conference power Maryland on Dec. 10. Thursday's tipoff against Towson at the Mack Sports Complex is at 7 p.m.


Injury bug continues to bite Hofstra wrestling in loss to Ohio State

The injury bug that has bitten the Hofstra wrestling team so far in the 2009/10 season continued to wreak havoc during Sunday afternoon’s match against third ranked Ohio State. Three weeks after 125-pound sophomore Steve Bonanno suffered a season-ending arm injury against Lock Haven’s Nick Hyatt, freshman Jamie Franco injured his shoulder during Hofstra’s second match of the day at 133-pounds against the Buckeye’s Ian Paddock.

With Franco losing by a medical default and the Pride forced to forfeit its first match at 125 pound match because of Bonanno’s hampered arm, Ohio State (6-0) jumped out to an early 12-0 lead and rolled from there for a 32-6 win. The loss drops Hofstra to 2-2-3 as it prepares for a busy January that features nine more dual matches.

Even though Sunday’s loss comes to the third ranked team in the nation, Hofstra head wrestling coach Tom Shifflet was not satisfied with the way most of his grapplers competed. “We were outmatched today,” said Shifflet.


Hofstra men's basketball misses golden chance at signature win in heartbreaking loss to William & Mary

It is not everyday that one gets to chance to knock off a team ranked sixth in the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index but that is just what Hofstra had in front of them Saturday afternoon against William & Mary. The Pride never trailed until the waning seconds off what would turn out to be a heartbreaking 48-47 loss in what was not only a key early-season Colonial Athletic Association game but also a major missed opportunity for a signature win that could have enhanced Hofstra’s post-season chances come March.

“It sure does sting because you only get so many opportunities in life and when you’re young sometimes you don’t realize that, but when you’re old like me you realize it,” said Hofstra head coach Tom Pecora of how his team had a chance to knock off a team as highly ranked as William & Mary.” You realize that when you get a chance to win a big game like this you better take advantage of it because they may not come along that often.”

Hofstra (8-6, 1-1 in CAA) never trailed until Kendrix Brown converted a three-point play with 17 seconds remaining for his only points of the game to give William & Mary a 48-47 lead. Hofstra had a chance to win on its final procession but Nathaniel Lester was unable to get a shot off in time when he pulled down a weak-side rebound from a missed long-range three pointer by Halil Kanacevic. Lester appeared to get fouled at the buzzer and Pecora screamed for a call but the referees instead said the game was over and so was Hofstra’s chance to knock off a top 10 RPI team.


Hofstra softball future looks bright entering new decade

Three weeks after his induction into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Hofstra head softball coach Bill Edwards still remains touched by the 24 current and former Pride players that attended the ceremony, and that is not the only reason for him to be beaming as a new decade dawns. The 21st-year Hofstra head coach is excited about the future of his program following the recent signings of three solid hitters and how his current team came together in the fall season in preparation for a 2010 campaign he hopes will end in the NCAA Tournament after missing out last year.

In his two decades in Hempstead Edwards has been able to recruit top notched talent that have helped turn Hofstra into a nationally recognized program that defeated number-one ranked UCLA in 2000, reached the NCAA regional finals three times and captured 11 straight conference titles from 1998-2008. Edwards is confident that the three players who comprise his 2011 recruiting class will help continue Hofstra's recent string of success. The trio of future Hofstra players includes a pair of infielders from New Jersey in Nicole Hagerty and Jessica Zeilman along with utility player Tori Rocha from Rehoboth, Mass.

"The three players who committed to us we have been tracking since the ninth or 10th grade," said Edwards. "Every time we see them play they are getting better."