A back-and-forth first quarter eventually became a Hofstra lead which the Pride held for the remainder of the afternoon. The Pride entered Rudd Field with a six-game losing streak, snapping it with a solid offensive performance.
“They're always scrappy. They're athletic. There were some mismatches out there that we struggled with,” head coach Josh Hexter said. “We didn't capitalize on our chances out there.”
The Elon offense struggled to keep up with a balanced Pride attack featuring four players with three or more goals. However, despite the loss, senior attacker Hannah McCarthy had a career day, boasting four goals and two assists.
McCarthy started the season as Elon’s leading returner in points and goals. Saturday’s matchup with the Pride showed off her scoring abilities and the potential of Elon’s offense.
“It's been awesome. This season we have a lot more people who can score,” McCarthy said. “We all trust each other. Some days it'll be me. Some will be Cierra or Hackett.”
Seniors such as McCarthy have helped guide the young Elon team. First-year goalie Caitlin Walsh remains a bright spot for the Phoenix, finishing with 11 saves.
“Caitlin's strength is her leadership. She is a quiet kid on the field,” Hexter said. “She commands the huddle. As a freshman coming in and being able to do that, I think, is a really big deal.”
Elon started to build momentum in the fourth quarter, cutting Hofstra’s deficit back to three. However, penalties, turnovers and mistakes cost the Phoenix a chance at a miracle comeback to earn their first conference win since March 30, 2022.
“We work hard every day on our fundamentals and try to do the little things right,” Hexter said. “I would like to see us doing that in the games more consistently.”
“The offense learned that we can stay composed even when we are down,” McCarthy said. “Today shows that we weren't frantic when we got the ball, even when we weren’t scoring.”
The Phoenix will return April 22 for a matchup against the University of Delaware Blue Hens (6-6). The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will mark the final home game for Elon in 2023, as well as it’s annual Senior Day.
“Looking forward to our seniors getting to enjoy the day,” Hexter said. “Part of celebrating the seniors is every game coming out and doing all the little things right that we practice every day.”