Hofstra will look to secure a first-round bye in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament when the Pride hosts Northeastern in the regular season finale on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. from Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
Before the contest, Senior Day ceremonies honoring Brooke Bendernagel and Amanda Heyde will take place. Current juniorsBrittany Farriella and Kylie Shuster, who both could have eligibility left after this season, will also be honored with their class. Both of them came to Hofstra in 2009.
Hofstra (10-7 overall) will take on a Huskies team that is 8-9-1 overall in a game with major CAA Tournament implications. Both the Pride and Huskies enter the game with 6-3 records in CAA play.
The teams represent two of the four squads that enter the week tied for third place in the CAA. With the top six teams qualifying, Hofstra will be looking to end the regular season with a 7-3 record. Second-place Drexel (6-2-1) will take on Delaware (6-3) while UNC Wilmington (6-3) plays Georgia State. Hofstra has defeated the Seahawks and the Blue Hens but has lost to the Dragons.
Last season, Hofstra won on the road, 3-0 at Northeastern to close the regular season. The Pride will be looking to duplicate that feat this year. Hofstra leads, 10-5-1, in the all-time series.
Northeastern has won four of the last five games, including a 2-1 win at Old Dominion in the previous contest. The Huskies offense is led by senior forward Greta Samuelsdottir, who is tied with Hofstra freshman Jill Mulholland with 16 points for the eighth-highest total in the league.
Behind Samuelsdottir's seven goals is sophomore midfielder Hannah O'Donnell with four scoring strikes. The offense has supported sophomore goalkeeper Paige Burnett, who will carry a 1.46 goals-against average and a .742 save percentage to New York.
Despite the pre-game festivities going to the seniors, Hofstra will continue to look to its young players to lead the way. Freshman Leah Galton (Harrogate, England), who has already been named the CAA's Rookie of the Week twice, is first on the team with nine goals and 22 points, which is also tied for second in the league.
All of Hofstra's top-four scorers are all either freshmen or sophomores. First-year standouts Jill Mulholland (Levittown, N.Y.) and Galton have provided scoring from the outset of their college careers while Scolarici (Aldie, Va.) and Echeverry (East Meadow, N.Y.) have taken steps forward from stellar freshman seasons. The quartet has combined for 70 of Hofstra's 97 points this year.
Hofstra is out-shooting opponents, 271-170, including a 35-8 edge in a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Albany on Sept. 14. Hofstra is averaging 15.9 shots-per-game compared to 10 attempts per game for the opposition.
Bendernagel will not play against Northeastern due to a red card assessed against her last game. But her stellar career will be recognized as the Smithtown, N.Y. native was one of just four back-liners in the 11-team league to be named to the preseason All-CAA team.
Bendernagel started all 18 games for Hofstra last season, helping a Hofstra defensive unit shut out six teams. For her efforts, she was named to the All-CAA third team. Bendernagel has also excelled in the classroom, receiving the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award. She has started 14 of her 16 games this season, tallying two shots in the process. Hofstra is out-scoring opponents, 32-24, in games in which she's played.
Shuster (Austin, Texas), who has not played this year due to injury, posted a 1.78 goals-against-average last season and went 3-1 with a shutout. She has a career record of 3-1-2 with a .771 save percentage and a 1.28 GAA.
Heyde, who is in her first season on the Hofstra soccer roster, played four years for the Pride's field hockey teams as a goalie. The two-sport athlete posted 13 wins in net for Hofstra's field hockey team in 2011, which tied for the second-most in the regular season in school history.
Following the women's game, the Hofstra men's soccer team will play Drexel at 7 p.m. Both the men's and women's teams are hosting Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day. One ticket will be good for both contests.