When Kristin Desmond and her teammate, Madeline Anderson of Westbury, were named to the United Soccer Coaches Division I All-Region First Team, the East Northport native thought the postseason awards were over.
But the Hofstra University senior was in for a big surprise, after receiving a text message from her head coach, Simon Riddiough, informing Desmond that she was named a United Soccer Coaches Third-Team All-American.
“When coach texted letting me know that I was an All-American, I was quite surprised and very happy,” she said. “It was something that I really didn’t expect.”
The honor not only capped what was a magical season for Desmond and her Hofstra teammates, but also a four-year collegiate career that saw the Northport High School graduate appear in 69 games (64 starts) with 23 goals and 14 assists.
She is also the fifth Hofstra women’s soccer player to earn All-America honors, joining Sue Weber (2005, 2007) Brooke DeRosa (2007), Tiffany Yovino (2010) and Leah Galton (2015).
With an All-American award to cap her collegiate playing days at Hofstra, Desmond has been a fixture on the soccer pitches of Long Island. She was a standout at Northport High School where she was a four-year varsity player, won a Long Island championship in her junior year and was named Long Island Player of the Year in 2013.
“Being able to play close to home meant a lot to me,” Desmond said of her time at Hofstra. “I was able to have family and friends at my home games, which helped boost my confidence and helped me play my best.”
This past season, Desmond’s supporters in the stands at Hofstra Soccer Stadium saw the Pride win eight of 10 home games, with the only defeat coming at the hands of Yale on September 4. Overall, Hofstra finished the season at 15-4-2, conceding only 14 goals with 11 clean sheets.
“Our goalkeeping and defense were solid all season and always gave us a chance to win,” she said. “Our forwards took advantage of the opportunities they had to score and our coaching staff worked to pull it all together.”
While playing for Hofstra allowed Desmond to stay close to home, it also gave her an opportunity to meet and compete with players from other parts of the United States and around the world. The Pride’s 2017 roster included players from, England, Wales, New Zealand and Australia.
“I love having a mix of local and international players on the team,” she said. “In high school, you’re just playing with people from your town. But Hofstra is a special place with people from different backgrounds and you get an appreciation of different cultures.”
The success Desmond and Hofstra enjoyed this past season has also served to further stoke her desire to continue playing soccer after she graduates this coming summer. With a long-term goal of becoming an occupational therapist, her near-term plans include entering her name into the upcoming National Women’s Soccer League draft.
“I definitely want to continue playing soccer and want to experience more success like we did this past season,” she said. “I’m not ready to hang up my cleats just yet.”