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Women’s soccer shuts out Hofstra in 3-0 victory

Bears move to 4-0 on season ahead of clash against Ohio State

The women’s soccer team (4-0-0) continued its sizzling start to the 2022 season with a commanding 3-0 victory over the Pride of Hofstra University (3-1-1) Sunday afternoon. The Bears rode a strong offensive performance to victory at Stevenson-Pincince Field, with forwards Brittany Raphino ’23, Ava Seelenfreund ’23.5 and Miya Grant-Clavijo ’25 each finding the back of the net.

Last year, the Pride were one of only four teams to defeat last year’s Brown squad, which made the Bears’ victory all the more significant, said Head Coach Kia McNeill. 

“It was a little bit of a revenge match for us,” she said. “We were on the other end of this last year, so it was great that our team was able to respond and come away with a convincing win.”

Last season, Hofstra won the Colonial Athletic Conference and defeated Providence College, another team which took down the Bears, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by the University of South Carolina. 

Brown was aggressive from the opening whistle, putting extreme pressure on the Pride defense right away. The Bears failed to convert on multiple scoring chances in the game’s opening minutes, with midfielder/forward Zoe Maxwell ’22.5 sending a shot just wide of the post and a Raphino attempt clanging off the post after she went past multiple defenders. 

Raphino appeared to score the first goal of the game off a header, but the score was ruled out due to a foul. Bruno was finally able to get on the board in the 15th minute when Seelenfreund weaved her way through the Hofstra defense before passing to Grant-Clavijo, who scored. 

Brown immediately went back on the attack and Seelenfreund again carved through the defense, this time delivering a strike that went well beyond the hands of Hofstra goalkeeper Skylar Kuzmich to find the back of the net. 

“We just moved off each other and picked our moments,” Raphino said. “We practice this day in and day out but once we can execute, it comes down to … believing in each other.”

“Our defense has been so solid, so to reward the team with goals is really all we can do to put together” well-rounded performances, Seelenfreund added.

Even with a two-goal lead under 20 minutes into the game, the Bears stayed aggressive and refused to concede any ground. A bend-but-not-break defensive effort from the Pride kept the score at 2-0 well into the second half, despite constant pressure from Brown’s offense. The Bears were able to break through again in the 60th minute when Raphino finally managed to find the back of the net. Her shot appeared to be heading well wide of the net before curling back in, awing the crowd and her teammates. Neither team was able to make much offensive headway for the final 30 minutes of the game as Brown coasted to a comfortable 3-0 win.

McNeill emphasized the importance of her team’s cooperation in putting together well-rounded offensive performances. “The great thing is we have so many people on our team that can score goals for us, so even if (opponents) focus on (Raphino), we still have (Seelenfreund), we still have (Grant-Clavijo and) we still have (Maxwell),” she said. “The more dynamic and dangerous we can be in the final third, the better off we’re going to be as a team.”

Bruno’s offense dominated from start to finish, consistently keeping the Hofstra defense on its heels and preventing the Pride from ever mounting a comeback. Brown’s dominance was clear on the stat sheet — the Bears attempted 16 total shots including eight shots on goal, while Hofstra recorded two shots and one on goal. 

The one-sided game flow meant limited save chances for goalkeeper Clare Gagne ’24, who has only allowed one goal through four games since taking over after last year’s Second Team All-Ivy selection Kayla Thompson ’21.5 graduated. 

Gagne “stepped in this year like she was a veteran,” Raphino said. “We have all the confidence in the world in her.” 

Seelenfreund noted that it is “very important” to perform well against strong non-conference opponents, adding that playing well in non-conference games is “how you build momentum going into conference” play. “This is a good team and to put away three goals against them really says something about where we can go” as the season goes on, she added. 

The Bears will take on another major non-conference foe this Thursday when they host the Ohio State University Buckeyes, a Big Ten powerhouse, at Stevenson-Pincince Field at 7 p.m.

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