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Alyssa Parrella’s five goals help Hofstra offense get back on track

Hofstra's Alyssa Parrella, #7, gets around Danielle LaRocca

Hofstra's Alyssa Parrella, #7, gets around Danielle LaRocca of Quinnipiac in the first half of an NCAA women's lacrosse game between Hofstra and Quinnipiac on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Alyssa Parrella said Saturday’s game was a “huge” one for Hofstra and the Pride came through with a huge performance.

Parrella scored five goals and Drew Shapiro added three goals and three assists to lead Hofstra to a 14-4 win over Quinnipiac in a non-conference women’s lacrosse game at Shuart Stadium.

Hofstra had dropped its last three games after starting the season 2-0 but already has matched its win total from last season.

“This was huge,” said Parrella, a freshman from Miller Place who has 22 goals. “This was a confidence booster for us . . . I think this is just one more step for us to build that positivity and confidence on our team.”

“We needed this win,” said Becky Conto (West Hempstead), who scored a pair of goals.

The Pride outshot Quinnipiac, 40-14, thanks in large part to a 23-15 edge in turnovers and an 11-8 advantage on draw controls. Hofstra had been outshot by a large margin in its last two losses, to top-ranked Maryland and No. 16 Johns Hopkins.

“This week we really focused on our offense,” coach Shannon Smith said. “Offensively we needed to produce a lot more shots and get a lot more movement . . . We [only] shot 14-for-40, but getting off 40 shots is a great starting point for us.”

Hofstra scored the first four goals of the game, with Parrella opening the scoring off a free position, followed by goals from Conto and Carlee Ancona and a second free-position goal from Parella. Quinnipiac (1-6) scored a pair of goals to cut it to 4-2 but the Pride answered with another 4-0 run and took a 9-3 lead into halftime.

Parella added two more goals in the second half and Shapiro, Ancona and Lexi Lenaghan also scored for the Pride.

“My team [is] opening up space for me,” said Parrella, who came into the afternoon tied for 16th in the nation in goals per game. No freshman is averaging more. “We’ve practiced constantly cutting through for each other, making those open spots for everyone to dodge.”

“As teams see them dodging, they’re going to draw some slides and be able to move the ball quicker,” Smith said of Parrella and Shapiro.

The margin could have been wider had it not been for a solid performance from Quinnipiac goalie Kyle Larkin (Sachem East), who saved 19 of the 33 shots Hofstra put on goal.

Speaking of defense, the four goals allowed by Hofstra were the fewest the Pride has given up since Marist got three on March 7, 2014.

“Hopefully we can move forward in our next game and get the same amount of shots but finish more goals,” said Smith. “I think it’s great to get back in the winning column. It’s exciting for the players.”

Said Conto of the team’s performance: “Moving forward, this is exactly what we need.”


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