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.”
When Hofstra won 10 games in a row in 2005 Riddiough was in his last year as an assistant coach with the program before taking over as head coach the next season following the retirement of JoAnne Russell. He said what sets the 2010 winning streak apart is the grueling schedule the Pride have been faced with including road games at Big Ten powers Indiana and Purdue as well as facing Colonial Athletic Association contenders James Madison and George Mason.
“The best thing about this win streak is we’ve played some very quality programs and we’ve still been able to come away with wins,” said Riddiough. “This team has got a special chemistry,”
“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Hofstra junior midfielder Brittany Butts of being a part of a team that set a winning streak record. “It is going to take awhile for it to set in.”
Despite going unbeaten since a season-opening loss to current second ranked Boston College, Hofstra has been just missing out on cracking the weekly National Soccer Coaches Association of America top 25 poll, but was ranked 16th in the first ratings percentage index released by the NCAA last week. Coach Riddiough said not receiving the national respect his program deserves is something he is used to, and is serving as an even greater motivator for the team.
“If Georgia had our record they’d be a top 10 team, if Tennessee had our record they’d be a top 15 team,” said Riddiough. “It is just the way of life and is something we have to deal with and we’ll just move on and concentrate on what we have to do.”
Hofstra will try and extends its program record winning streak to 13 this Friday night at William & Mary.