By Jordan Sawyer — STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra women’s soccer team turned a somber Sunday into a bright one by beating Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) combatant James Madison University (JMU) to clinch a conference tournament berth in a historic 3-0 win.
“Really proud of the team effort, it was a really substantial, intelligent, disciplined performance,” said Hofstra head coach Simon Riddiough.
The Pride continued their conquering of the conference, capturing their seventh straight win and extending their unbeaten streak to nine.
Offensive opportunities came early and often for the Pride with six corner kicks and seven shots in the first 10 minutes of action. The Dukes strong defensive display dissolved the chances of an early lead for the Pride.
In the 25th minute, Hofstra was able to break free from JMU’s defensive clasp and put the first tally on the board. The 10th corner kick of the half for the Pride led to a header for Madeline Anderson from classmate Monique Iannella.
Hofstra held JMU without an offensive opportunity until 30 minutes into play which led to their first shot and first save for starting goalkeeper Jenna Borresen.
The Pride’s offensively overpowering half came to a close as they brought a 1-0 lead to the locker room with a total of 20 corners and 18 shots versus zero corners and two shots for the Dukes.
After being on defense nearly the entire first half, James Madison was able to find the offensive zone more in the second.
The Pride continued to create opportunities offensively as the Dukes remained to continue stoutly defending corner kicks.
In the 74th minute, Hofstra set the NCAA single game record for corner kicks at 24, breaking the record set by Wisconsin in 2009.
“We were fantastic at creating corner kick opportunities, we did an awesome job of forcing James Madison to those mistakes,” Riddiough said. “Fantastic to get a record.”
Two minutes later, the Pride padded their lead with another header on yet another corner kick. Sophomore Rachel Cardinal found the back of the net for the first time in her collegiate career off an assist from Iannella, her second of the game.
Lucy Shepherd put the icing on the cake in the 85th minute as she won a battle for the ball in the box and rolled it under JMU’s Olivia Miller for the third score of the game. Hofstra has scored three goals in three consecutive games.
With a little over a minute to play, the Pride finished off their historic day with their 26th and final corner kick off the game, capping off a 3-0 victory.
Borresen and Ashley Wilson combined for Hofstra’s eighth shutout of the season and earned Riddiough his 11th straight double-digit win season.
Hofstra will face off against fellow unbeaten and defending CAA champion Northeastern University in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.
“I think Northeastern is the best team in the conference. We’re going up there Thursday, it’s always a tough place to play,” Riddiough said. “We’re 6-0 right now [in conference play] and shouldn’t be fearing anybody.”