By Juliana Battaglia — STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra field hockey team suffered a major defeat on Sunday, Oct. 22 against No. 16 James Madison University (JMU), losing to the Dukes 8-0 to fall to 7-10 on the season and 1-3 in CAA play. JMU outshot the Pride 21-4, as senior Hannah Hall led her team with three goals.
The Dukes jumped on their scoring opportunities early, as sophomore Lisa Lejeune scored the team’s first goal a little over one minute into the first half. Seniors Melanie Kusakavitch and Hall contributed two more goals for the remainder of the half, while the Pride couldn’t muster more than two shots on their end.
Hall scored back-to-back goals in the contest, tallying the team’s third and final goal of the first half and their first goal of the second.
She would be followed by sophomores Alicia Cooperman and Emilly Schutt, who scored her first goal of the season.
Hall then tallied her third goal and fifth on the season, with Kusakavitch adding her second goal of the contest.
Hofstra head coach Kathy De Angelis had expressed her concerns in previous interviews with being ready on both the attack and defensive sides in order to match up against an opponent as formidable as James Madison.
Her concerns may have been well-founded, as Hofstra was overwhelmed on both sides of the ball by the Dukes.
Unable to even get a shot until after the Dukes had taken a 3-0 advantage, the Pride struggled to maintain any balance between finding scoring opportunities and keeping their opponent at bay.
Hofstra’s defense was coming off a matchup with St. Francis University in which the Pride allowed 19 shots and gave up 14 penalty corners. On Sunday, Hofstra was able to keep the Dukes from racking up too many penalty corners, but the large shot disparity was too much for the Pride to overcome.
While De Angelis mentioned that there was much work needed before this game, it is clear that there’s still improvement needed now more than ever if Hofstra has any chance to secure a spot in the championship tournament.
The Pride sits in fifth place after Sunday’s loss, one game behind Northeastern University for the fourth and final spot in the CAA Tournament field.
Hofstra’s hopes to claim a berth in the CAA Tournament can remain alive if they can manage a victory next week, but it will be a daunting task for the Pride as they host the defending NCAA champion University of Delaware squad on Friday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m.