HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Freshman midfielder Colin Stripling (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood) scored his first career goal but the Monmouth University men’s soccer team’s comeback bid fell short at Hofstra in a 2-1 loss Sunday afternoon at Hofstra Soccer Stadium. After falling behind 2-0 in the initial 20:02 of the first half, the Hawks battled back to cut the deficit in half and create several quality scoring opportunities in searching for the equalizer. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 1-4-2, while the Pride, runner up in the Colonial Athletic Association last year, is now 3-3-1.
“I give full credit to Hofstra,” said Monmouth Head Coach Robert McCourt. “They’re a good program and it’s a tough place to play. We talked about having to win the first 20 minutes of the game after having an overtime game on Friday. Unfortunately, we came out flat and Hofstra punished us for it. But as a program, we have to continue to build on these experiences as we enter conference play.”
Hofstra’s Maid Memic scored in the 16th and 21st minutes to give the Pride a quick 2-0 lead. On the first goal, Memic collected a ball deflected in front and found the back of the net from eight yards out. Ignacio Gorrono was credited with the assist. Less than five minutes later, Memic shot hard and low from 14 yards out off a Mario Ruiz assist.
With just over 20 minutes remaining in the first half, the Hawks responded. Derek Luke (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) had his shot deflected by Hofstra goalie Roberto Pellegrini, but Stripling was there for the rebound to cut the deficit in half.
The Hawks played without starters Joseph Schmid (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) and Francois “Paco” Navarro (Paris, France) due to injury and fellow starter Bryant Avalos (Brick, N.J./Monsignor Donovan) battled through the flu to make the start Sunday. Monmouth made things exciting in the final 90 seconds of the second half, creating several quality scoring chances.
The Hawks close out regular season non-conference play on Saturday, when they play host to former league foe Central Connecticut. Kickoff from The Great Lawn is scheduled for 7 p.m.