Junior Rhian Cleverly settled the ball at nearly midfield and sent a long pass into the middle of the box, where Mulholland tucked it away into the lower left corner to stake an early lead that the Pride never relinquished.
Hofstra (1-0-0) dominated possession, putting up 14 shots in the first half to Buffalo’s one. Mulholland led the charge with four in the first, including two on goal, while senior Emily Agudelo added two, both on goal, including a header off a corner kick that was scooped up by Bulls goalkeeper Laura Dougall.
The Bulls (0-1-0) had a dangerous chance late in the first frame, with the ball bouncing around inside the 18-yard box, but the Pride defense cleared it away to maintain the lead.
Early in the second half, Buffalo got forward on a break, but Hofstra keeper Ashley Wilson came sliding out to prevent the shot.
Moments later, Agudelo had a quality look on goal, taking the ball all the way up the right wing and positioning herself at the top of the 18 for a strong strike that Dougall had to tip wide, resulting in a corner for the Pride.
Hofstra nearly made it 2-0 about midway through the second, getting past Dougall, but the goal was called back on an offside ruling.
The Bulls turned the pressure on late in the game, earning a free kick on the edge of the 18 with about two minutes left to play, but the try went wide left to keep Buffalo off the board. Wilson picked up the clean sheet in her first Hofstra start as the Pride improved to 13-12 all-time in Opening Day games.
Hofstra plays its second game of the tournament at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday against the host and defending national champion No. 2 Penn State.