RICHMOND, Va. – Women's soccer in the Colonial Athletic Association is very much a battle every night and the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer team found that out right away, playing two of the top teams in the opening weekend.
For the second team in that opening weekend, the Rams came up just short with a streaking Hofstra team defeating the Black & Gold 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium.
"We hope today is a learning experience for our girls," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "Hofstra is a quality team that has a ton of experience on their side. I thought that showed at points today and will hopefully be something that we can improve on with time."
Hofstra, who has not lost since the season opener against fifth-ranked Boston College, would not let the Rams get comfortable though and continued to up the pressure.
In the 32nd minute, Grace Hawkins was able to get loose and fired a shot from 12 yards out that VCU's Megan Lynch was able knock down, but Krysti Rodriguez was there for the rebound and put in her first career goal to give Hofstra a 1-0 lead.
"I really thought we came out with more energy and effort in the early going, but that first goal seemed to cause a little lack of focus," Roberts Sahaydak said. "Again I think that the youth of our team had something to do with that, but we'll work hard in practice and look to get better next time out."
Hawkins would generate the Pride offense again in the 41st minute as she lofted a long pass to a speeding Ruby Staplehurst, who got loose and deposited a shot into the bottom left corner of the net to push the Hofstra advantage to 2-0.
After the intermission, the Rams continued to battle for possession in the midfield, but weren't able to get anything going with a tough Hofstra defense, which has allowed just four goals in the past eight games.
The Pride owned the shot advantage, 11-3, with VCU gaining the edge in corners at 4-3.
VCU is back in action on Thursday night when they travel north to take on the Patriots of George Mason in a 6 p.m. contest.