Hofstra got help on Friday night when Drexel lost to Massachusetts, but the Pride couldn’t help themselves.
Drexel’s 14-8 men’ lacrosse victory had opened the door for Hofstra to claim the outright CAA regular-season championship and host the conference tournament with a victory at Towson. But the Tigers slammed that door in the visitor’s faces, scoring four unanswered goals in the third quarter and holding off Hofstra, 10-8, in the CAA regular-season finale Saturday.
That result gave Towson a 4-1 league record, the top seed and the host’s role for this week’s CAA tournament at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Towson will play fourth-seeded Drexel at 5 p.m. Thursday in the first semifinal. Hofstra (11-2 overall, 3-2 CAA) is the No. 2 seed and will face third-seeded UMass at 7:30 p.m. At 1 p.m. Saturday, the winners play for the conference championship and an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
“A tough one. Towson-Hofstra games are a slugfest,” Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. “They came at us in the third quarter and we didn’t make some plays in the second quarter.”
Hofstra led 3-1 in the second quarter, breaking a tie at one on goals by Brendan Kavanagh and Ryan Tierney. But Towson tied it on two goals 30 seconds apart. Josh Byrne scored his 36th goal to put Hofstra ahead for the last time at 4-3 before Ryan Drenner (two goals, three assists) tied it with just five seconds left in the half.
The Tigers dominated the third quarter, scoring all four goals. Hofstra ended a scoring drought of 26:34 on a goal by Dylan Alderman (three goals, one assist), who scored again four minutes later to make it 8-6. The Pride again made it a two-goal game at 9-7 when Alex Moeser scored on a feed from Tierney with 2:52 left, but Drenner put it out of reach with his second goal with 1:21 left. Jimmy Yanes scored for Hofstra with four seconds left.
“It’s a whole new season now. Four teams all zero-and-zero,” Seth Tierney said.