HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Hofstra University men’s soccer season gets underway Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when the Pride hosts Fordham University in the season opener for both teams at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.

Hofstra returns 15 players from a squad that went 10-6-5 and advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship game. Included are eight starters including leading scorer Matthew Vowinkel (eight goals) and goalkeeper Alex Ashton (0.90 goals-against average, nine shutouts).

The Pride also welcome back starters Storm Strongin, George O’Malley, Oscar Ramsay, Peter Meyer, Luca Tausch and Hendrik Hebbeker, as well as veterans Adam Savill, Genarro Vilardi, Felix Smith Halle, Lennart Seufert, Etienne Botty and Jack Nuttall, which provides Hofstra with tremendous depth and experience. The Pride’s 12 newcomers also are expected to contribute with defender Frederik Rieper and midfielders Petter Soelberg and Stefan Mason leading the way.

The Rams are coming off an 8-5-4 season and a 4-3-1 record in the Atlantic 10. Fordham returns 17 players and seven starters from that team including A-10 defensive player of the year Joergen Oland and top returning scorer Sameer Fathazada (five goals, two assists). Carlo Acquista, the former head coach at Adelphi University, is in his first year at the helm of the Fordham program.

The Pride is 10-5-3 all-time vs. Fordham and has won three of the last five meetings. The teams have not met since the 2011 season, a 2-0 Hofstra win at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.

Hofstra has been extremely tough at home, posting a winning record in 15 of 16 seasons at Hofstra Soccer Stadium. The Pride was 6-1 at home in 2018 and will play 10 games at home this season.

The Pride is unbeaten in its past seven opening day matches and is 7-3-4 in season openers since 2005. Hofstra tied Dayton, 2-2, in the 2018 opener. Hofstra is 19-8-3 in home openers under Coach Richard Nuttall, who is entering his 31st year at Hofstra. The Pride downed Harvard, 3-0, in the 2018 home opener.

Following Thursday’s game, the Pride will travel to Baltimore, Md. for a Sunday 7 p.m. contest at UMBC.