JMU field hockey (6-7, 2-1 CAA) scored three goals in the second half to defeat Hofstra (5-8, 0-3 CAA) 4-0 on Sunday afternoon. It’s the second straight game the Dukes have shut out a conference rival, led by sophomore forward Ongeziwe Mali scoring two goals on two shots in the contest.
“Normally, I’m frantic, and I think today, I was really poised, and I think it worked being poised, and I think everyone helped me get those goals, and it was a team effort throughout,” Mali said.
After a scoreless opening frame, Mali broke the game open in the 27th minute to make it 1-0. The Dukes took the single-goal advantage into the half, despite outshooting the Pride 5-1 and having a 7-1 advantage in corners.
Even with numerous scoring chances, it remained 1-0 until the 40th minute when JMU capitalized on a corner after a tip-in from Mali gave her a second goal and doubled the lead.
The Dukes added two goals in the second half off corner attempts when redshirt senior defender Megan Guzzardi and sophomore midfielder Courtney Lynch scored in the 44th and 56th minutes, respectively. JMU finished the game with a 16-2 advantage on corners and outshot Hofstra 16-2.
“I think it was really great because that came back to the whole team effort and everyone knowing their role,” Guzzardi said. “Everyone else executing their job and us all coming together to perform as a unit.”
Freshman goalkeeper Merlijn van der Vegt started for the Pride as it suffered its second straight loss. She allowed four goals and saved nine shots.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Kyler Zampiello started in goal for JMU. She didn’t face a shot on goal in the victory, as the Dukes’ defense prevented the Pride from registering a shot on goal to earn its second straight shutout.
“It’s about the shift in our mentality,” JMU head coach Christy Morgan said. “We know it's about not just knowing that we’re a good team but executing. It's about total engagement in the defensive end, total engagement in the attacking end.”
With the victory, JMU extends its win streak to three games and improves to a 2-1 record against CAA opponents. The Dukes will look to continue their win streak when they host the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday at noon.
“You don’t look back,” Morgan said. “You learn the lessons, and you keep moving forward. We need to get better, we need to play every quarter like we played that last quarter, and when we do that, then I’ll be happy. Until then, I’m not going to be happy, and we’re going to keep pushing to move forward.”
Contact Jason Clampitt at email@example.com. For more field hockey coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.