The search for another NCAA Tournament ticket in men’s lacrosse has gone on at Hofstra since the last one in 2011. But now the Pride have an opportunity, standing one win away from claiming the CAA’s automatic pass after taking down the top seed in the semis.
The fourth-seeded Pride held on to upset Delaware, 10-9, Thursday at Shuart Stadium.
So Hofstra (8-5) will fight for the title at the same site at 1 p.m. Saturday against second-seeded Drexel (9-2), a 13-8 winner over third-seeded UMass in Thursday’s other semi at Shuart.
"It gets me choked up every time someone talks about it because we just bought 48 hours more with this group," coach Seth Tierney said. "For me, that 48 hours is like a lottery ticket — to not have to say goodbye … and to be able to play one more game. Who knows what’s going to happen?
"If we win one more, then maybe we get to spend another week together."
CAA Offensive Player of the Year Ryan Tierney didn’t score, but senior attackman Dylan McIntosh delivered five goals, matching his season total entering the game after coming back from an ACL injury.
"They put a short stick on him; they think he has a knee brace on him; Dylan McIntosh is just as fast as he was when he got here," his coach said. "And he’s a scorer."
The Blue Hens (10-3), who had beaten the Pride, 14-13, in overtime here April 17, climbed out of a 6-2, second-quarter hole. Charlie Kitchen contributed two of his three goals and two assists in the third. Delaware owned an 8-7 lead heading for the fourth.
But Hofstra responded with goals by James Philbin, McIntosh and Ryan Sheridan to go up 10-8.
Tye Kurtz cut the lead to one with 8:45 left. Then came a sweaty finish.
"We bent," Seth Tierney said, "but we didn’t break."
Mike Robinson had a shot to tie it, but he hit the crossbar.
Kurtz also had a chance to tie it, but Bobby Casey made a big stop, one of his 11 saves. A turnover with 2:12 remaining gave the Blue Hens one more chance. But they turned it back over with 1:06 to go.
As Seth Tierney put it, "For these guys to pull through with poise and composure at the end — thrilled, thrilled."