Kristin Desmond scored nine goals and assisted on three others for Hofstra. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra Communications Dept.)
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – After winning the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title by going a perfect 9-0 in conference play, the Hofstra University women claimed three of the league’s four major postseason awards while earning several other honors.
Senior Kristin Desmond was named the CAA player of the year, while junior Madeline Anderson earned defensive player of the year honors and Simon Riddiough was selected as the coach of the year.
Desmond and Anderson also were both named to the All-CAA first team. Senior defender Kelly Gerdes earned a spot on the second team along with freshman midfielder Bella Richards, who was also named to the All-Rookie team with freshman midfielder Lucy Porter.
Desmond enjoyed a career year, finishing the regular season with nine goals and 21 points to lead the team. The East Northport, N.Y., native posted 11 points over the span of four conference games early in the season, including having a hand in all four goals in back-to-back wins over UNCW and Drexel University. She was also responsible for the game-winning goal in three consecutive conference games and set up goals in each of the Pride’s final two conference games.
Anderson continued to be an impeccable shutdown defender, playing every minute on the Hofstra backline this season. The Westbury, N.Y. native helped Hofstra to 10 shutouts and a regular-season team goals-against average of 0.64. She also contributed on the other side of the ball with two goals and an assist, getting on the scoresheet in back-to-back conference games against Towson and James Madison. Her tally against the Dukes served as the game-winner.
Riddiough, the unanimous choice for coach of the year, led the program to an incredible turnaround in 2017. After missing the CAA Championships in 2016, Riddiough helmed Hofstra to a 9-0 record in conference play, becoming the fifth team in CAA history to unbeaten and untied. Hofstra is two of those teams, as Riddiough led the team to an 11-0 record in league play in 2010, when he was also named coach of the year. The Pride enters the CAA Championships on a 10-game winning streak and ranked 31st in the national ratings percentage index (RPI).
Hailing from Wantagh, N.Y. Gerdes also played every minute on the Hofstra backline this season, playing a major role in the Pride’s defensive success. Her consistently solid defending helped Hofstra limit opponents’ offensive opportunities as the Pride allowed three goals in conference play.
Richards, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, had a strong freshman season, earning CAA rookie of the week twice. She earned her first career points with a pair of assists at William & Mary before closing the regular season with three goals in five games, including the tally that clinched the regular-season title for the Pride.
Porter also had a notable rookie season in the midfield for the Pride. The Birmingham, England, native was a solid contributor on both sides of the ball. She scored her first collegiate goal against William & Mary before tallying the game-winner at defending CAA champion Northeastern.
The Pride will take on William & Mary in the CAA semifinals at Hofstra Soccer Stadium Friday at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship game at 1 p.m.