Hofstra University attack #14 Stephen Bentz gets congratulated by teammates...

Hofstra University attack #14 Stephen Bentz gets congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal to extend to his team's lead over Penn State to 9-3 in the fourth period of an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game played at Shuart Stadium, located on Hofstra's campus. Hofstra won the game 9-4 to clinch the top seed in the upcoming CAA tournament. (April 30, 2011) Credit: James Escher

With two of his teammates serving penalties, Hofstra defender Tim Holman snatched a Penn State crossing pass out of the air early in the fourth quarter to squash not only a scoring opportunity but any chance of a late comeback for the Nittany Lions.

The forced turnover caused most of the 5,484 fans at Shuart Stadium to rise to their feet cheering as No. 8 Hofstra, led by stellar play on defense and junior goalie Andrew Gvozden's career-high tying 17 saves, defeated No. 20 Penn State, 9-4, in a CAA men's lacrosse game last night.

The victory earned Hofstra (13-1, 5-1) the CAA regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament. The Pride will host No. 4 Delaware in the semifinals Wednesday at 7 p.m. Hofstra's lone loss of the season came at Delaware, 7-6, on March 19.

"Being down two men is pretty tough but Mike was giving it his all," Holman said. "Cody [Solaja] had a really good check on him, made a pretty bad pass, I just picked it off and we dodged a bullet."

Sophomore midfielder Ian Braddish scored a career-high three goals and Stephen Bentz two, extending his scoring streak to 16 games.

"I'm always looking to pass, I like to feed the ball more than I shoot the ball. I'm always looking to feed guys like Bentz, Jay [Card] and Jamie [Lincoln]," Braddish said.

No. 2 Penn State (7-6, 4-2) will host No. 3 UMass in the other semifinal Wednesday.

Hofstra trailed after the first quarter for just the third time this season as the Nittany Lions settled for a 2-1 advantage, nearly scoring a goal in the final second but time expired before the ball was in the net. The Pride scored two goals in the second quarter and took a 3-2 lead into halftime.

Adrian Sorichetti's goal with 8:01 left in the third quarter capped a five-goal run for the Pride.

Hofstra's defense, which leads the nation in scoring with 5.93 goals per game, had another strong performance, holding the Nittany Lions off the board for 27:07, spanning the end of the first quarter until Gavin Ahern, from South Side High School, scored with 4:18 left in the third quarter.

"I'm proud of our guys, 13-1, with a one-goal loss and we certainly did not play well enough to be 14-0," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. "The 13 wins go away and there's four teams that are guaranteed one game, that's it."

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