Hempstead, NY - The Hofstra Pride Women's Cross Country team begins its 2012 season on Saturday, September 8 with the Hofstra-Brick Stone Memorial Run at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, NY.

The 5K women's race begins at 9:30 a.m. with a field comprised of Division I schools Hofstra, St. John's, Seton Hall and NJIT, and Division II and III institutions Adelphi, CW Post, Pace, Queens College, Molloy, Suffolk Community and Farmingdale State.

Hofstra is led by Peter Alfano, who is in his fifth year as head coach of both the women's and men's cross country programs and his ninth as a Pride cross country coach in 2012. The Pride graduated six runners, who, cumulatively, took top Pride runner honors in five of the seven meets last season. Alfano, a Staten Island, NY native, welcomes back six runners from last year's team that placed eighth in the Metropolitan Conference Championships and ninth in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship.

Leading the returnees are senior Cara Mattson (East Meadow, NY), junior Kristin Mathis (Williamstown, NJ) and sophomore Eva Holtermann (Staten Island, NY). Mattson led the Pride at the 6K 2011 Penn State University Nationals, clocking a time of 25:17. Mathis took team honors at the 6K NCAA Division I Northeast Regional in Buffalo last November posting a time of 24:16. Holterman posted three sub-27:00 6K races in 2011 and appeared ready to take the next step in her development by the end of the year. Juniors Elizabeth Jerome (Northport, NY), Brittney Towner (Rocky River, OH) and Jacklyn McKnight (North Massapequa, NY) also return after each raced in at least four meets last season.

The Pride will have five new faces on the roster led by freshmen Becky Celorio (Scotia, NY) and Michelle Allaire (Seaford, NY). Celorio is a former All-New York State Cross Country selection and Section 2 Class B champion at Scotia Glenville High School.  Allaire was a three-time all-division and two-time all-conference selection at Seaford High School. Sophomore Rachel Sutter (Antioch, IL) and freshmen Lisa Eberwein (Coatesville, PA) and Molly Madden (Milton, MA) round out the Pride roster.

Saturday's race is the first of seven meets for the Pride during the 2012 season. Hofstra will travel to the New Jersey Institute of Technology Classic at Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ on Sunday, September 16. The Pride will also compete in two meets at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, running in the Metropolitan Conference Championships on Friday, October 5 and the ICAAAA Championships on Saturday, November 17. Hofstra will also compete in the St. John's Cross Country Fall Festival at Cunningham Park in Jamaica, NY on October 14th.

The Colonial Athletic Association Cross Country Championships will be held in Williamsburg, VA on Saturday, October 27 with the NCAA Division I Northeast Regional Championship to be held at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT on Friday, November 9.