Wildcat fall to Hofstra in sixth straight loss

Liam Murphy

A beautiful afternoon welcomed the visiting Hofstra University men’s soccer team to campus this past Sunday, but the outcome was gloomy for the ‘Cats, as they fell to Hofstra, 3-1.

Villanova came out ready to put its losing ways behind, but Hofstra’s Jochen Strobel quickly denied the Wildcats their first victory in six games.

Strobel’s first goal came only 12 minutes into the match after he collected a deflected shot and put it home, beating Villanova netminder Jon Williams.

“That goal was just one of those unlucky things, just like most of our season so far,” senior Joe Carulo said.

Paul Saccoccio, who took the original shot, was credited with the assist.

With only 26 seconds remaining in the first half, Wildcat Dave O’Donnell, a junior transfer from Big East rival St. John’s, put home a low shot into the right corner of the goal, tying the match heading into halftime. Midfielder Jonathan Lopuski was credited with the assist after drawing a defender and deftly laying the ball off to O’Donnell.

“Lopuski gave me a great ball, and I just finished it like I know how,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell was pushed up to midfield from his regular sweeper position in order to generate more goals.

“Dirty O’Donnell is a crafty player, no matter where he is on the field,” ‘Nova senior Steve Leaman said.

Hofstra took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute.

Saccoccio received a pass and slipped it past Williams to give Hofstra the lead for good. Strobel added his second goal of the game in the 65th minute when he finished a ball from defender Billy Chung, making the final score 3-1.

The loss gives Villanova a 2-8 overall record and an 0-4 record in the Big East.

The Wildcats headed to Syracuse this past Wednesday for a night game against the Orangemen. Results of the match came in too late for publication.

Villanova’s next game is Sunday, a home match against Philly rival Drexel at 1 p.m. Villanova is currently 1-1 in the Philadelphia Soccer Seven, which head coach Larry Sullivan has repeatedly acknowledged always provides a tough game.