By Kevin Carroll — SPORTS EDITOR
Philine de Wolf’s first collegiate goal couldn’t come at a better time for the Hofstra field hockey team, as the freshman scored late in the second half to break a tie and spark Hofstra to a 3-2 victory over UMass Lowell on Sunday afternoon at Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium.
“I thought we did a great job to rebound [after the Lafayette game],” said Hofstra head coach Kathy De Angelis after Sunday’s win. “UMass Lowell is a great team, and they tested us in a lot of different ways.”
After the two teams held each other gridlocked at two goals apiece for the duration of the second half, de Wolf was able to capitalize on a series of deflections and caroms inside of the River Hawks’ box. The Netherlands native was able to knock one past UMass Lowell goalie Eva Berkhout with just under ten minutes to play, giving Hofstra the lead.
The Hofstra defense was able to buckle down and keep the River Hawks at bay as the clock ran out. Every time UMass Lowell mounted a rally or advanced the ball, it was snuffed out. The River Hawks pulled the goalie in a last-ditch effort, but to no avail as Hofstra held on for its first victory of the season.
Madison Sauve and Frankie O’Brien also scored for the Pride, as the team was able to open up offensively after a quiet outing on Friday night at Lafayette.
In Friday’s loss, Hofstra was only able to muster two shots on goal all evening. The Pride matched that number in the first ten minutes of Sunday’s game, posting 12 shots on goal in total.
Sauve, a junior, got the ball rolling for the Pride after a quiet first fifteen minutes. She beat the goalie at the 15:14 mark to put Hofstra on the scoreboard for the first time this season.
The freshman O’Brien followed her up just four minutes later, ripping a rocket that Berkhout had no chance on to give the Pride a 2-0 lead.
This team has so far been defined largely by the freshmen class, as O’Brien, de Wolf and players like Anne van den Boomen have already made a positive impact through the first two games.
That 2-0 lead would disappear heading into the break, as UMass Lowell’s Anouk Lalande scored twice in the final minutes of the first half to bring the game to a 2-2 tie.
“It was really important that we had a sound defensive structure,” De Angelis said. “I thought we did a really good job forcing them to the outside lanes.”
That slight defensive lapse was an anomaly for the Pride on a day in which the back line, and goalie Carys Swan, brought their A-game.
Swan had seven saves in total, including a sensational diving save on a penalty shot in the first half that, at the time, kept the Pride out in front.
“I thought she did a great job being prepared for the shot,” De Angelis said. “As the game went on, she began to take over and be a general. That’s what we need from her.”
Hofstra will stay home for its next game, a Wednesday afternoon matinee against Siena College, scheduled for a noon start time at Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium.