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Hofstra Women’s Soccer Set For Tough Tests to Begin Season

Hofstra begins 2015 season on Friday.

Leah Galton (gohofstra.com)

Leah Galton (gohofstra.com)

 

There will be no easing into the 2015 season for Hofstra women’s soccer. Head coach Simon Riddiough will lead his squad into the Penn State Invitational where the Pride will face two nationally ranked opponents in a span of three days, beginning with Friday’s match against No. 6 Penn State.

Hofstra returns seven of its top 10 scorers from last years squad which reached the Colonial Athletic Association championship game. The Pride were selected second in the conference’s preseason poll. Hofstra has tallied double-digit victories in each of the past eight seasons and expectations remain high for this years group.

After Friday’s opener against Big Ten favorite Penn State, the Pride will face No. 24 Rutgers on Sunday in the tournament’s finale. Rutgers was picked third in the Big Ten preseason poll.

Hofstra will once again be led by Leah Galton. Galton, now a senior, has won the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year award the past two seasons and was selected as the preseasons honoree in that category this season. Galton was also named the DoubleGSports.com Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year for 2014.

Galton enters this season with the seventh-most career goals of any active Division 1 player, with 36. She is 14 goals shy of the Hofstra all-time program record, currently held by Sam Scolarici.

Scheduling tough matches early in the season is nothing out of the ordinary for Hofstra and Riddiough. The team is looking forward to the challenge once again.

“I always set a challenge for our team on the opening weekend and there’s no better opponent for that than Penn State, who is a perennial national power,” Riddiough said. “They’ll be a large crowd with thousands of screaming fans, so the experience will be great for us.  Rutgers has a great coaching staff and they’ve made the step up to the Big Ten and they’ll be extremely good. We’re going to have to work really hard overachieve to get anything. It’s a process but we’re in a good position now and hopefully we can use this week as a springboard for the rest of the season.”

Hofstra is 0-3 all-time against Penn State. The Nittany Lions return 18 players from last year’s squad that advanced to the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last season.

 

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