Lucy Porter scored the lone goal of the match. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra SID)
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Hofstra University women opened their season with a solid showing against Monmouth University, recording a 1-0 victory in a non-conference match at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn Friday night.
Junior midfielder Lucy Porter picked up right where she left off from last season, scoring Hofstra’s lone goal in the first half off of an assist by junior forward Lucy Shepherd.
The Pride is 14-13 on opening day since the creation of the women’s program in 1993.
Hofstra had the edge on shots, 10-9, with seven of those attempts on target.
Freshman goalkeeper Skylar Kuzmich was outstanding in her collegiate debut, recording her first shutout with five saves, including several clutch stops down the stretch.
After both teams shook off the rust to start, Hofstra picked up the pace midway through the half when junior forward Sabrina Bryan had her shot knocked off the back line by a Monmouth defender 14 minutes in. A little more than 10 minutes later, Porter tapped in a bouncing ball from Shepherd right in front of the goal for a 1-0 advantage.
Shortly into the second half, the Pride defense stepped up to keep Monmouth off the board when Kuzmich made a one-handed, top-shelf save off of a free kick before the visitors fended off a Hawks corner kick. Monmouth controlled the pace for some time, but the back line continued to come up big. That included a defensive clearance by junior Jordan Littleboy and another save by Kuzmich through traffic with less than two minutes remaining.
“Tonight was a tale of two halves,” Monmouth head coach Krissy Turner said. “The second half we played much more physical and determined, but it needs to be for the full 90 minutes.”
The Pride take on sixth-ranked Penn State University at University Park Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The Hawks will travel to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on Lehigh University Sunday at 4:30 p.m.