By Felipe Fontes — STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra men’s soccer team kicked off the regular season in positive fashion, achieving its first-ever victory against the Nittany Lions by a 1-0 score on Friday night.
Playing in University Park, the Lions home fans saw the Pride bolt out of the gates in its season opener, notching in a goal after only seven minutes of play.
The Hofstra goal ended up being the only goal of the match, securing the win for the Pride team as it protected its one-goal cushion for the remaining 83 minutes of play.
In the grueling defensive match, Pride goalkeeper Alex Ashton finished with a career high five saves, four of them coming in the second half as Penn State pushed the tempo in an attempt to stave off defeat.
After just four shots in the first half, the Nittany Lions fired away 11 in the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net, as Alex Ashton earned his first career solo shutout.
While Penn State failed on all of its attempts to get on the board, Hofstra’s lone goal came off the right foot of senior Danny Elliott. As Elliott grabbed possession of the ball near the left end of the box, he evaded a defender to his right and launched the ball into the top right corner of the goal.
For Elliott, the score was a good first step in justifying the senior’s preseason All-CAA selection. After finishing tied for second in goals last season with six, Elliott is looking to uplift this Hofstra team with the same prowess that earned him the preseason honors.
As for the other two players who received All-CAA honors, Meshack Eshun Addy and Luke Brown, they booted two shots apiece, misfiring on each.
While the veterans all returned to action, as usual with season openers, the incoming freshman made their collegiate debuts.
In the Pride’s first outing, a couple newcomers, Matthew Vowinkel and George O’Malley, earned the nod from Hofstra head coach Richard Nuttall to start for Hofstra on the pitch. Freshmen Storm Strongin, Marc Rodriguez, and Andrea Codispoti also saw their first collegiate action after coming off the bench.
The triumph over Penn State was a good start for the Pride in what it hopes will be a successful season.
Now holding a 1-0 record, Hofstra hopes to double its win total when it travels out to Maryland to take on the sixth-ranked Terrapins, also coming off a strong victory in its season opener.
The battle to remain unbeaten will take place on Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.