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Alyssa Parrella, Drew Shapiro help Hofstra women’s lacrosse upset Towson

Carlee Ancona #5, left, and Alyssa Parrella #7

Carlee Ancona #5, left, and Alyssa Parrella #7 of Hofstra celebrate after a goal in the second half of a CAA women's lacrosse game against Towson at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Credit: James Escher

For the second time this weekend, Hofstra faced a sizable deficit against a ranked opponent.

Unlike Friday’s loss to James Madison, the Pride responded in a big way to pick up its biggest win in years.

Hofstra scored five consecutive goals in the second half in a 17-15 comeback win over No. 13 Towson on Sunday in a Colonial Athletic Association women’s lacrosse game at Shuart Stadium.

Towson led 10-5 midway through the first half and took an 11-7 lead into halftime before Hofstra scored eight of the first nine goals of the second half. Towson is the highest-ranked team Hofstra has beaten since 2010, when the Pride defeated a Towson team that was ranked eighth in the nation.

“At this point in the season, winning against a ranked team gives us a huge confidence boost,” said Alyssa Parrella, who had six goals and an assist. “I don’t think anyone on our team thinks anyone can stop us.”

Parrella scored with 19:17 left off a free position to tie it at 12 and Drew Shapiro (five goals, five draw controls) broke the tie with 18:01 left. Becky Conto and Parrella added goals to make it 15-12 with 11:27 to go. Towson cut Hofstra’s lead to 17-15 with 1:42 left, but Pride goalie Maddie Fields made a pair of close-range saves with less than a minute left to secure the win.

“Our kids played with incredible heart out there all game long and fought for a full 60 minutes against a very good Towson team,” coach Shannon Smith said.

Early on, an upset win did not seem likely. Hofstra (7-6, 1-3 CAA) fell behind 4-0 less than five minutes into the game. The Pride tied it at 5 with 14:16 left in the half, but Towson (9-5, 2-2) answered with a 5-0 run.

Two quick goals from Conto and Lexi Lenaghan got Hofstra back to within three, but Carly Tellekamp (six goals) scored with three seconds left in the first half to send Towson into the break ahead 11-7.

“I give every girl in that locker room a lot of credit,” Smith said. “Usually a goal like that with [under] 10 seconds left can be demoralizing to a team, but we didn’t allow that to happen to us.”

A strong half from both Parrella and Shapiro, who totaled nine of their 11 goals after halftime, also helped spur the turnaround. Parrella has 43 goals and 25 assists this season, and her 68 points are tied for eighth most in a season in program history.

“Everyone on attack really worked,” Shapiro said of the offensive effort against the 12th-ranked scoring defense in the nation. “It was a huge team effort.”

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