For the second consecutive year, Hofstra’s women’s soccer team is on to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. And similar to 2018’s victory over Boston College, Sabrina Bryan was the engine driving the Pride’s offense.
On Saturday at Hofstra Soccer Stadium, the junior from Cecil, Pa., scored the game-winning goal four minutes into extra time to give the Pride a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago.
Hofstra moves on to the tournament’s second round where they will face No. 1 Stanford. The Cardinal advanced after defeating Prairie View A&M 15-0 on Friday.
Hosting an NCAA Tournament game for the first time, Hofstra made the most of its opportunity.
🚨🚨 #HOFSTRA WINS‼️‼️‼️
It's Miri Taylor ➡️ Bella Richards ➡️ Sabrina Bryan for the golden goal and the Pride survive and advance to the second round of the @NCAASoccer Championship!! GO PRIDE!!#RoarWithPride🦁 | #NCAASoccer pic.twitter.com/lWWZs8gF6M
— Hofstra Women's Soccer (@HofstraWSOC) November 16, 2019
On the game-winning play, the Pride gained control of the ball near midfield. Bella Richards one-touched a pass to Miri Taylor who one-touched a pass to Bryan at the top of the box. Bryan would take a touch to her left and her shot kissed the inside of the far post and rolled in for the game-winner.
“This was an awesome NCAA game between two very good teams riding hot streaks,” said Simon Riddiough, Hofstra’s head coach. “We were fortunate to come out in the end.”
In recent weeks, much of the Pride’s good fortune has come through Bryan. The junior forward has five goals over the past four games and her season total of 11 is only two behind the 13 goals she scored as a sophomore.
“[Sabrina] stepped up on the national stage last year and has come to realize what a tremendous player she is,” Riddiough said, referring to her two goals in a 4-1 win over Boston College in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. “She is a humble superstar.”
Bryan, indeed humble after scoring the game-winner Saturday, said, “I knew that coming into my sophomore season more was expected of me. This year, I found my confidence and rhythm as the season went on.”
Throughout the match, Bryan made herself a menace to the Loyola Chicago defense. Of the Pride’s 15 shots (six on goal), Bryan had seven (five on goal).
In goal, freshman Skylar Kuzmich made four saves to earn her 16th win and fourth clean sheet of the season.