Hempstead, NY – Mike Kennedy’s goal off of his own free kick in the 83rd minute proved to be the decisive goal as Northeastern posted a 3-2 win over Hofstra Wednesday night at the Hofstra Soccer Stadium in a key Colonial Athletic Association matchup.
The win pushes Northeastern’s record to 7-4-1 overall and 3-2 in the CAA. Hofstra falls to 5-6, 2-3 in league play. The two teams had entered the match in a five-way tie for fourth place in the CAA standings.
Hofstra opened the scoring at the 14:13 mark when Tyler Botte chipped a Shady Saleh pass over Huskies keeper Oliver Blum for a 1-0 Pride lead. The goal was Botte’s second of the year. Nearly 10 minutes later, Northeastern evened the score as Josh Semerene took advantage of a defensive miscue by the Pride and raced in on a breakaway and beat Hofstra keeper Roberto Pellegrini for his third of the season at 24:08
Northeastern would take the lead for good at the 35:53 mark when Dante Marini worked himself free at the top of the box and put a left-footed shot into the far right corner past a diving Pellegrini for a 2-1 advantage. The goal was Marini’s team-leading fifth of the season.
The Pride had several chances in the first half and could have easily had three other goals. Hofstra missed several wide open chances either high or wide as they pressured Northeastern throughout the half with 10 shots. Perhaps the best chance came on a Brett Carrington shot that was past Blum and cleared off the line by Don Anding at 33:40.
Northeastern also had chances in the half to take an even bigger lead including a perfect strike from Semerene that Pellegrini somehow got a hand on at 34:58 and then a close range blast from Kennedy that he made the initial stop on and quickly kept the rebound from squirting free early n the second half.
But Kennedy would take advantage of a Hofstra foul at the 82:37 mark and put in a free kick over a six-man wall from about 25-yards out to make it a 3-1 game. The Pride pushed forward and capitalized on a Northeastern foul at 88:06 as Chris Griebsch sent in a free kick that found the head of Shaun Foster for the defender’s second goal of the season.
Hofstra did make one more rush, getting a free kick in the final 36 seconds, but could not convert on a set piece. Then time expired before the Pride could get another shot off.
Hofstra finished with 17 shots in the game, compared to Northeastern’s nine. But only seven were on net as Blum made four saves in the win. Pellegrini also had four saves in the loss.
Hofstra travels to Delaware on Sunday as it attempts to snap a two-match losing streak.