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Offensive struggles spell loss for Hofstra women in CAA opener

Hofstra's Alyssa Parrella breaks down the field againstWagner

Hofstra's Alyssa Parrella breaks down the field againstWagner on Feb. 20, 2018. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Rough endings to both halves Friday afternoon led to a rough conference opener for the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team.

After a slow start by both squads, visiting Elon built a first-half lead it would not relinquish to edge Hofstra, 12-8, in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both at Shuart Stadium. Elon scored five of the last six goals to take a 6-3 lead into halftime. Hofstra cut the deficit to 8-7 with under 15 minutes left, but a big finish by Elon ensured that was as close as the hosts would get.

“Really tough loss to start conference [play],” Hofstra coach Shannon Smith said. “Defensively, I thought we played a good game. Offensively, we struggled. We weren’t finishing our shots and we had a lot of turnovers and we missed a lot of ground balls.”

In the first 10 minutes, the Pride’s finishing problems were most apparent. They took 12 of the first 18 shots, but only led 2-1 after Drew Shapiro scored with 10:24 left before the break. Elon took control from that point and dominated possession for the remainder of the first half.

Hofstra (6-5) got back in the game in the second half when Carlee Ancona’s goal with 14:34 left capped a 4-1 run to pull within in a goal. After Maddie Fields (11 saves) got a stop on the ensuing Elon possession, the Pride had possession and a chance to tie, but the trip ended with the 13th of Hofstra’s 15 turnovers.

Elon (2-8) promptly scored at the other end and added goals with 6:36 and 6:01 left to ice the game.

“We had a lot of offensive possessions . . . and we didn’t capitalize,” Smith said. “Elon capitalized on all of our turnovers.”

Ancona, Shapiro, Alyssa Parrella and Alexa Mattera all scored two goals for Hofstra, which continues CAA play on Sunday at William & Mary.

Said Smith: “We have to take this and learn from it because we have a quick turnaround against William & Mary, so we have to come back out and ready to play.”

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