Eliot Goldthorp connected for his NCAA-best 15th goal of the season for the game-winner. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra)
Eliot Goldthorp’s NCAA Division I-leading 15th goal of the season, late in the second half, snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the third-seeded Hofstra University men a 2-1 victory over second-seeded and 10-man UNCW in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals at UNCW Soccer Stadium in Wilmington, N.C. on Sunday.
The Pride (13-3-3), which has won four consecutive games and is on a six-game unbeaten streak, advanced to the CAA Championship Game at top-seeded Elon University Saturday at noon, in a rematch of last year’s final.
It also will be Hofstra’s third consecutive CAA title game appearance as the Pride look for back-to-back championships.
UNCW (6-4-7) opened the scoring at 13:17 as Ethan Newsome sent in a shot from the top of the box into the upper right corner. The goal came off a corner kick in which the Seahawks shot was blocked and the ball came back out to Newsome for the open shot.
Hofstra took advantage of a set piece at 30:55 mark as Goldthorp sent a long free kick into the box that found the feet of Marcelo Lage. The Pride defender knocked in his third goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1.
The score remained that way until Goldthorp’s goal, which came just over a minute after UNCW’s Angelo Madrid was red-carded for a dangerous tackle. The goal was set up by Owen Barnett who executed a give-and-go with Nico Oberrauch and took a shot that UNCW keeper Gabriel Perrotta saved. The rebound found Goldthorp coming in from the right side and his open shot for his game-winning goal of the season.
Perrotta finished with nine saves while Hofstra goalkeeper Wessel Speel made six saves. There was a great deal of offense in the game as the teams were credited with 39 combined shots. UNCW had 20 and Hofstra 19.