Hofstra Ends Tigers’ Playoff Hopes, 1-0

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Towson Center Soccer Complex (photo: David Topp)

TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University men’s soccer team needed a win at home versus the visiting Hofstra Pride on Wednesday to keep its playoff chances alive.

Freshman midfielder Stephan Barea ended the Tigers post season aspirations the game-winner in the first-half for the Pride, scoring from within the box for the game’s lone goal.

Footing seemed to bother both sides throughout the match, admits the rain-soaked field at the Towson Center Soccer Complex. 

The Tigers were held scoreless for the first time at home this season, as the Hofstra defense was able to contain the dangerous combination of sophomore Liam Maloney and junior Marco Mangione.

“These are two guys you got to stop,” said coach Frank Olszewski, “they were right there at their heels and it made for a long day.”

Any chance of a second-half comeback was denied by sophomore Greg Cumpstone, who made several key saves for the Pride stopping wave after wave of the Towson attack.

“I think the energy was there, the chances were there, I don’t think they were comfortable all game,” Olszewski said. 

The Towson defense looked strong for the most part, playing without starting goalkeeper, sophomore John Steele.  Senior Frank Fregoso made his first career start in the loss at home, making four saves in the losing effort.

Barea’s 35th minute goal came after the Tigers were unable to clear the ball from its defense box, as the sophomore put a deflection in the back of the net.

“Frank’s played well during the season and he deserved a chance,” said Olszewski, “he came up with a good performance today and he justified that.”

The crowd of 177 supporters saw the Tigers receive four yellow cards and two red cards as well.  Junior defender Phil Greatwich was ejected in the 83rd minute after a dangerous tackle.  Steele was thrown-out as well after protesting the call from the sidelines.  Both players will now miss Towson’s next match, when it hosts Georgia State at home on Sunday.

Hofstra was also assessed three yellow cards during the match.

The Tigers would have needed a win in all three of its remaining conference matches for a chance to qualify for the playoffs.  Now for the second year in a row are eliminated from a Colonial Athletic Association playoff berth.  They will play the final home match of the season on Sunday and then travel to James Madison University on Saturday, Nov. 7 to finish the regular season.

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