The Hofstra men’s soccer team improved to 5-0-0 in conference play in Saturday’s homecoming contest with a gritty 2-1 victory over William & Mary.
On a rainy, sloppy night, sophomore Daniel Massey put the Pride on his back, breaking out for two goals after previously having just one this season. Massey was consistently in the right place at the right time and it paid off for his squad.
Meshack Eshun Addy set up the first goal in the 34th minute with a gorgeous cross from the right side of the field. Massey snuck into position and headed the ball in over William & Mary’s diving goalkeeper. In the 55th minute, Massey out-hustled the Tribe defenders deep in their own territory to breakaway on an unassisted tap-in goal that gave Hofstra a comfortable 2-0 cushion.
Hofstra’s offense had many chances for shots, as they controlled possession for nearly the entirety of the match. Early in the second half, Pride captain Joseph Holland found a clean shot from 15 yards out and missed high. Holland let out a scream in frustration that could be heard from the press box, as he has not recorded a goal since the season’s first game.
The Pride defense held strong until late in the game when they stepped off their A-game, allowing William & Mary’s leader in points, Antonio Bustamante, to put his team on the board. Bustamante sliced through the defense to capitalize on a one-touch shot from 10 yards away. Bustamante was coming off a hat trick in the Tribe’s 7-1 dismantling of conference foe Northeastern, but was mostly marginalized by the Hofstra defense until late in the game.
Rain poured through the duration of the contest and seemed to affect each team’s attack. With many players slipping and falling, a plethora of fouls were called on both teams. Tribe midfielder Marcel Berry was constantly seen slipping on the turf, which stunted a few potential scoring opportunities for William & Mary.
As the game wore on and became increasingly belligerent, players on both sides voiced their concerns to the officials. Five minutes into the second half, Pride head coach Richard Nuttall decided he was fed up and started to harass the refs from the sideline. He made such a scene that the head official stopped play to have a conference with Nuttall and calm him down.
Sophomore Alex Ashton started at goalie and had two saves. Hofstra has not fully committed to Ashton or fellow sophomore Leonard Arkhanhelskyi, so the goalie battle is a storyline worth watching as the conference tournament looms closer.
Hofstra improves to 7-4-1 overall and 5-0-0 in conference with the victory, while William & Mary sink to 6-4-2 overall and 1-2-2 in conference.
Hofstra will remain at home and take on Drexel in its next match while William & Mary will travel to North Carolina to face Elon, with both games taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 12.