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Finn Sullivan's tough defense helps Hofstra defeat Ohio State

Hofstra's Drew Coholan, left, and Korey Hendrickson celebrate

Hofstra's Drew Coholan, left, and Korey Hendrickson celebrate after a goal extends the Pride's lead over Ohio State to 5-1 in the third period of an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game at Shuart Stadium on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Credit: James Escher

As a defender, Finn Sullivan does the type of things you usually don't see in the game summary.

And if the Hofstra sophomore does his job right, the man he covers won't show up in the summary as well.

While Sullivan could not keep Ohio State's Jesse King completely off the scoresheet, he played a vital role in limiting the Buckeyes' scoring leader to only a goal in the Pride's 7-5 non-conference win at James M. Shuart Stadium Saturday.

By the time King scored with 3:31 remaining in the game, Hofstra (3-2) was well on its way to its third consecutive win. Sam Llinares had three goals and goalie Chris Selva made several key saves.

Just as important was that King did not score during five man-up chances as OSU (1-4) solved Selva but once -- by Turner Evans at 7:34 of the third.

The Buckeyes were led by Evans with two goals and one assist while Jesse King and Reegan Comeault each had one goal and one assist.

"We played a ton of defense," Llinares said. "We had to give our guys a break to last the whole game. We grinded out possessions. When the looks are there, we had to make sure we capitalized."

The Pride cashed in on 3 of 6 man-up opportunities, by Lance Yapor and Torin Varin (two goals) and Drew Coholan.

"When you start to win in different ways, it certainly gives you a little wind behind you," coach Seth Tierney said. "We understand how to kill the game. We understand that we have to try to beat Ohio and we're trying to beat the clock as well."

And a big part of that was by stopping King, who entered the game with 13 goals.

"He took it personal," Tierney said of Sullivan.

"We knew that Finn was the right guy for Jesse King. We have to share him because of all the pick play. We stayed true to what we do. You get tempted as a coach to change things because of a guy like Jesse King."

Sullivan was up to the task.

"A lot of their offense ran through him," he said. "I knew that if we could do a good job of containing him, limit his touches, we're going to have a pretty successful day. I liked having responsibility like that. We all did a great job of sliding toward him when I was beat or whoever was on him."

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