The Hofstra men’s lacrosse team fell just short of making an early-season statement Saturday, falling to No. 14 Villanova in overtime, 10-9, at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats (2-1) won the overtime faceoff and had three tries at the goal before midfielder Connor Kirst bounced in the winner 2:31 into the first overtime.
Ryan Tierney scored five goals for Hofstra (2-1), including three in the third quarter during a 6-0 Hofstra run that flipped a 6-3 halftime deficit to a 9-6 lead. Jimmy Yanes sparked the run with a goal 1:05 into the second half, and Tierney followed with a goal at the 10:44 mark. Tierney would put Hofstra ahead 7-6 with 8:06 left before scoring again less than a minute later off an assist from Riley Forte.
“They just had to calm down at halftime,” said Hofstra coach Seth Tierney. “A couple calls didn’t go their way in the first half and I told them we just have to visualize winning the first faceoff, the first ground ball, and we were able to get the momentum going.”
But Villanova, coming off a win over No. 1 Yale on Feb. 16, responded with a 3-0 run in the fourth. Kirst scored on a man-up opportunity and Matt Campbell scored two more, including the tying score at 6:25 off an assist from Colin Crowley. Campbell led Villanova with six goals.
Villanova outshot Hofstra 15-4 in the fourth quarter and 4-0 in overtime.
“Villanova had long possessions with multiple shots [in the fourth quarter],” Tierney said. “[Our goalie] Bobby Casey faced a lot of rubber today and he handled it well…We lost to a good team.”
Casey had 10 saves for the Pride. Nick Testa (seven saves) and Will Vitton (three saves) combined for 10 saves for Villanova.
It’s a teachable loss for Hofstra, which carries just 11 upperclassmen on its roster.
“I’m awfully proud of this young team and how they responded against a senior-laden, experienced Villanova team,” Tierney said. “Hopefully we learned some lessons that will help us win in close games later in the season.”