It was overtime and for Hofstra midfielder Brian von Bargen, it was just like his senior year. Time was running out.
“I don’t want to waste any more opportunities,” the Wantagh High School graduate said.
So when the first play called didn’t work, von Bargen improvised. “I got a short stick on me and my teammates found me. I got the shot I wanted,” he said
Von Bargen buried it 1:11 into the extra period for his fourth goal of the game to give Hofstra a 13-12 victory over Vermont Tuesday night at Shuart Stadium.
“Brian is playing with more focus now,” Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. “When you’re a senior, the sands of time are slipping through the hour glass. He’s having a big year and he just wants to win.”
No. 19 Hofstra improved to 5-3 and stopped a two-game losing skid. Von Bargen now has 18 goals, more than the total of 15 he had amassed in his first three years at Hofstra. “Nothing’s different,” he insisted. “I’m just playing with more confidence.”
That was evident in the first quarter when von Bargen scored three goals — his third hat trick of the season — as the Pride built a 6-1 lead. Korey Hendrickson (Farmingdale) scored unassisted on his way to his first hat trick of the season to give Hofstra a 7-2 lead with 5:59 left in the second quarter.
But that’s when things started slipping away. Faceoff specialist Kris Clarke (Chaminade) is “not 100 percent,” according to Tierney, and missed some draws. Without him, Hofstra committed several faceoff violations and Vermont’s potent offense made them pay.
The Catamounts (3-5) scored five straight to tie it at 7 with 10:44 left in the third. Hofstra regained what appeared to be a safe 11-8 lead on a goal from Sam Llinares (Hauppauge) in the first minute of the fourth quarter. But Vermont roared back with four straight goals to take its first lead, 12-11, with 4:30 left.
Jack Concannon (St. Anthony’s) made one of his 14 saves during a man-down situation to keep it a one-goal game. “When we went down 12-11 and called timeout, we put in a play,” Tierney said.
This one worked to perfection as Llinares threw what Tierney called “an alley-oop” to a cutting Josh Byrne who scored with 20 seconds left to force overtime. “Those two guys have been struggling lately but they made a big play when we needed it,” Tierney said.
That left plenty of time for von Bargen to make another one.