Hofstra shooting for top of CAA
(Page 2 of 2)
Nuttall said he plans to go deep into his bench utilizing between 15-17 players making conditioning a top priority.
“We’re really a passing team but we like to move the ball around and defend as a unit,” Nuttall said. “We’re going to use a large squad.”
On defense, Hofstra will get senior goalie Roberto Pellegrini back between the pipes after the Rome, Italy native was forced to have back surgery following just five games in 2012. Pellegrini, who led the CAA in saves with 92 two years ago, is the leader to start in net, according to Nuttall. “He looks back to his old self,” said Nuttall of the Italian netminder.
Hofstra has 10 freshman on its roster including two local players from Nassau County’s South Shore in midfielders Gregory Abrahams (Baldwin) and Lerthon Theuma (Franklin Square.) Abrahams was a captain and 2012 Nassau County honorable mention selection as a senior at Baldwin and captured the school’s unsung hero award. Theuma played four years of varsity soccer at Valley Stream North and was selected as Nassau County Player of the Year for Class A as a senior after leading the Spartans to a conference championship.
Hofstra faces a challenging schedule that includes four teams that made it into the NCAA Tournament last year in Brown and Farleigh Dickinson along with CAA opponents, Northeastern and Drexel. The CAA is a traditionally a very competitive conference that sends multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament including three last season.
“Our conference is tremendous,” Nuttall said. “Every game is like a final…”If you aren’t ready for them emotionally you are going to get steamrolled.”