After capturing its third-straight Colonial Athletic Association crown to receive the CAA’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division I women’s tournament, Hofstra University is set to battle Loyola Chicago at the Hofstra Soccer Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m.
The winner will move on to the second round of the tournament and will face the victor No. 1 seeded Stanford and Prairie View A&M.
The Pride (15-3-2, 7-0-2) is making its third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and eighth in program history. Hofstra is 3-7-1 in NCAA postseason action, with one of those wins coming last season when the Pride stunned No. 22 Boston College in the first round, 4-1. Following Monday’s selection show, the Pride earned a home match, as Hofstra has not lost on its home turf yet this season (8-0-2).
During the CAA Tournament, four Pride players were named to the league all-tournament team, including junior forward Sabrina Bryan, junior midfielder Bella Richards, and junior midfielder Jordan Littleboy, while junior midfielder Lucy Porter was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Porter, who leads the Pride with 16 goals this season, reached the 40-point plateau during the Championship match which set a Hofstra program record for points in a single season. In addition, Bryan was outstanding during the CAA tournament, combining for eight points to propel her to the 30-point mark for the second-straight season.
Loyola Chicago (14-4-1), in search of its first NCAA tournament victory, earned a spot in the tournament as the automatic qualifier from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Ramblers are riding a program-record 12-match win streak heading into the Tournament, most recently picking up a 2-0 victory over Illinois State this past Sunday to win its second consecutive Conference title. The Ramblers are 0-1-1 in its two previous meetings against current CAA members, most recently dropping a 1-0 decision to Drexel during the 2017 season.
Megan Nemec leads the Ramblers with 17 points, which include six goals and five assists. The top-goal scorer is Aleksa Tataryn, who has tallied seven times while adding one assist for 15 points. Simone Wark, who has added five goals and five assists, also has 15 points. Grace Droessler is the Rambler’s primary goalkeeper, accumulating an 11-3-1 record with seven shutouts, a 0.95 goals-against average, and .781 save percentage.