After starting the season with two difficult losses, the Hofstra men's lacrosse team was in a celebratory mood as the final seconds ticked down on a 9-7 victory over No. 17 Fairfield yesterday at Shuart Stadium.
"We saw that last 30 seconds and we had the ball. We were all smiles, loving it, a great feeling," said goalie Chris Selva, who had 10 saves. "We didn't have that feeling since last year. We want to keep that feeling going."
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Hofstra (1-2) was essentially in control throughout, taking a 6-3 lead at the half with freshman attack Brier Davis scoring two goals in a balanced attack that included goals by Korey Hendrickson, Sam Llinares, Torin Varn and Mike Malave.
In the third quarter, Drew Coholan and Kris Clarke scored consecutive goals within six seconds of each other and the Pride had an 8-3 advantage. For the game, Varn scored two goals and Llinares also had two assists. Fairfield (2-1), received two goals from West Islip's Drew Federico. The Stags averaged 18 goals in their first two victories.
"Certainly we're happy to get the 'W' and be on the winning side of the scoreboard, it's been a long couple of weeks," coach Seth Tierney said. Hofstra lost by two goals at home to Marquette in the season opener, then let a four-goal lead slip away in a 12-10 loss at No. 10 Princeton.
"Unfortunately, I don't think there was a sense of urgency that was needed in the Marquette game and I think we learned that lesson," Tierney said. "I think there was a tremendous sense of urgency in the Princeton game. We didn't play smart toward the end."
"All week we talked about how we were going to respond to the two losses that we had," Davis said. "We focused in practice on the mistakes that we did make as a team. We're a good team. When we play together, we can really fire on all cylinders."
Improvement in key categories aided the Pride. "I'm happy to see the ground ball stats (29 to 22), I'm happy to see the faceoff stats (14 of 20)," Tierney said. Long stick midfielder Ryan Reilly caused three turnovers, once picking off a ball in the passing lane and Clarke dominated at faceoff. Tierney was happy with the man-down defense which stopped Fairfield on all three opportunities.
Most of all, Tierney was pleased with the result, saying, "I'm happy to get No. 1 of 2014."