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Hofstra men's lacrosse suffers another tough loss

Hofstra's Brendan Kavanagh goes to the ground and

Hofstra's Brendan Kavanagh goes to the ground and loses the ball against Drexel at Shuart Stadium on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Hofstra men's lacrosse team again outshot its opponent. It again won the faceoff battle. It again secured the most ground balls.

Having the advantage in those three stats usually leads to good things in lacrosse.

Despite having those vital stats tilted in its favor Saturday, Hofstra again lost.

So what gives?

"I don't know. We've tried just about everything," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said after the host Pride lost to Drexel, 8-7, in a CAA game that featured an exciting ending. "I don't know what that answer is. It's one of those seasons that we're having."

The Pride dropped to 1-2 in the league and 4-6 overall. All six losses have been decided by two goals or fewer. In three of those losses, Hofstra has had more shots, ground balls and faceoff wins than its opponent.

"When you look at the stats . . . we've done all the things we needed to do in these games," Tierney said. "There's just a lid on the top and we're trying to pop it off."

Ryan Belka, who had a game-high three goals, scored the winner for Drexel (5-6, 1-1) with 14 seconds left.

Hofstra trailed 7-4 with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter. Zachary Franco cut the deficit to 7-5 with 3:59 left. Hofstra's Kris Clarke (Bellmore), who won 11 of 17 draws, secured the ensuing faceoff and the Pride got to within one when Korey Hendrickson (Farmingdale) scored with 3:30 left.

Mike Malave (Wading River), who had two goals, tied it at 7 with 36 seconds remaining after picking up a ground ball -- Hofstra secured 26 ground balls versus Drexel's 19 -- and firing a shot from about 10 yards.

Drexel, which beat Hofstra in last year's CAA championship, won the ensuing faceoff, which led to the winning goal.

One of the most unsatisfying parts of the loss, Malave said, was that Hofstra outshot Drexel, 42-29.

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