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."

After opening the season with a 5-0 loss at then seventh-ranked Boston College, the Lady Pride won its next 18 games before falling in the CAA title game to James Madison. Hofstra’s record-winning streak, which included an impressive Big Ten road sweep of Indiana and Purdue, helped deliver the program's first at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Pride received numerous contributions during its magical run including a dozen different goal scorers led by 12 apiece from seniors Salma Tarik and Tiffany Yovino, who was honored as the CAA Player of the Year.

“Even when you have a great team you never expect to have a winning streak like we did,” said Riddiough. “It is unbelievable that we got the winning streak we did.”

For the Hofstra men’s soccer team it was the uphill climb that made the 2010 season a memorable one for the program. After a loss to Northeastern on Oct. 13 dropped Hofstra to 3-6-3 and 1-3-1 in the CAA, the Pride had little room for error the remaining of the way. Hofstra responded by going  4-0-2 to close the regular season and only gave up one goal in that six game stretch.

The Pride were keyed by many freshmen in 2010 including defenseman Shaun Foster, who was named CAA Defender of the Year. Hofstra men's soccer head coach Richard Nuttall expects the clutch play down the stretch of his young team to carry through into 2011.

“If you really think about we’ve had eight playoff games,” said Nuttall referring to the last six regular season contests and CAA Tournament. “That is great deal of experience in our lockers and hopefully we can pull on that next year.”

Both Hofstra soccer coaches are excited about incoming recruits and the schedules being finalized for next year. After book-ending its 2010 season with losses to Boston College, the Lady Pride will be kickoff 2010  against the Eagles at Hofstra University Soccer Stadium on August 27. The Lady Pride will also have challenging road games scheduled at Texas Tech, Texas Christian University and Harvard. 

“It is exciting times around Hofstra,” said Riddiough “Hopefully we can springboard off of this season.”

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