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Tough loss for Hofstra men’s lacrosse team puts Pride in must-win situation

Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney looks on against

Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney looks on against the New Jersey Institute of Technology in an NCAA men's lacrosse game at James M. Shuart Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

A potential go-ahead goal hits a pipe. A Kitchen sinks the game-winner. A season circles the drain.

So it goes for Hofstra’s men’s lacrosse team, which suffered its second straight crushing loss, this time 10-9 to Delaware in a crucial Colonial Athletic Association game played on Senior Day at Shuart Stadium.

Delaware’s Charlie Kitchen, a sophomore attack whose brother James is a junior midfielder for Hofstra, scored the game winner from a sharp angle with 6:05 left, his fifth of the game, about a minute after the Pride’s Jimmy Yanes’ blast from the high slot rang off the right pipe.

“A centimeter away. A tough one. That’s two weeks in a row,” moaned Hofstra coach Seth Tierney, referencing last week’s 5-4 loss to Fairfield on a late goal. “I’d like to have those first few minutes back.”

Actually, most of the first quarter was costly for the Pride (5-6, 1-2 CAA), which fell behind 6-1 on Kitchen’s third goal and trailed 8-3 early in the second quarter. But Ryan Tierney, the coach’s son, led a spirited rally over the final three periods. He scored four goals, including two in the fourth quarter that tied it at 9 with 8:28 left. And Yanes, who scored a goal and had two assists, nearly put Hofstra on top.

“There’s such little room for error when you’re down five,” Seth Tierney said. “We had it rolling, but everything needs to go right for you and everything needs to go wrong for them.”

It didn’t quite work out. After Kitchen’s goal, the Blue Hens (5-6, 2-1) killed four minutes before Hofstra regained possession and called timeout with 1:56 left. “You can’t run a two-minute set play so you just run the offense,” coach Tierney said. “We had a couple of good looks before the last shot.”

When the clock got down to 25 seconds, Ryan Tierney found himself open deep on the left wing, but there was no distracting screen in front of Matt DeLuca, the former Farmingdale High School star who made 12 saves. So DeLuca easily handled Tierney’s shot and the Blue Hens ran out the clock.

“I should’ve thrown it to X,” Tierney said of a teammate open behind the cage. “It was a mistake.”

Hofstra can’t make any more. The Pride finishes at Drexel and at league-leader Massachusetts, hoping to earn one of four spots in the CAA Tournament May 3 and 5. “We’re in a must-win situation the last two games,” Seth Tierney said.

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