By Juliana Battaglia — STAFF WRITER
For the first time since 2012, the top-seeded Hofstra women’s soccer team claimed the Colonial Athletic Association championship in a rainy matchup on Sunday, edging off the third-seeded Northeastern University Huskies by a score of 2-1 at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
The scoring in the matchup was limited solely to the first half, as freshman Lucy Porter helped Hofstra get off to an early lead with her fourth goal of the season just over a minute into the game.
The opposing Huskies were able to even the score with a goal from freshman Kerri Zerfoss a third of the way through the first half.
However, the lead went right back to Hofstra as Jenn Buoncore scored the decisive goal of the game, heading the ball into the net for her fifth goal of the season.
The Huskies put in their best effort to equalize the score in the second half, but goalkeeper Ashley Wilson provided a strong defense for the Pride, securing three saves to hinder Northeastern’s efforts to rally back.
“That first goal allowed us to breathe a little bit and settle into the game,” said Hofstra head coach Simon Riddiough after the game.
The team was able to use the early lead to build their confidence and ease the stress that comes with playing in such a crucial game.
“We beat Northeastern and they were good, but sometimes we don’t understand how good we are as well,” Riddiough said.
While it was surprising to score so quickly against a strong team in Northeastern, it was a good reminder of the talent Riddiough’s team has and what they truly can achieve.
Hofstra will now await the revelation of their opponent and game location for the NCAA tournament, revealed Monday at 4:30 p.m. on the NCAA’s official website.
While there are undoubtedly a ton of top-notch teams that could be waiting for the Pride, freshman Porter explained that it doesn’t matter all that much.
“As a team we will go against anything. We are a strong unit and we’re confident now, showing from our past 13 games that we can do anything.”