Hofstra midfielder Dylan Alderman winds up to shoot defended by...

Hofstra midfielder Dylan Alderman winds up to shoot defended by Villanova's Roberto LoCascio during an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game at Shuart Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The timeframes were short: Three-and-a-half minutes to start the game; one minute to start the second half. But the damage was long-lasting.

Villanova scored five goals in those crucial five minutes and that was more than enough to defeat an offensively challenged Hofstra men’s lacrosse team, 7-2, Saturday afternoon in a non-league game played before 1,202 at Shuart Stadum.

“We have to explain the formula on how to win a Division I lacrosse game,” a subdued Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said after the Pride fell to 0-2 against the No. 8 Wildcats, who improved to 3-0. “That’s a good team, but you can’t score two goals and expect to win.”

Villanova’s Luke Palmadeso won three early faceoffs against Kyle Gallagher (who was only 3-for-13). The Wildcats capitalized on those early possessions, with Danny Seibel (one goal, one assist) scoring on a feed from Keegan Khan and Christian Cuccinello (three goals) and Keegan adding unassisted goals for a quick 3-0 lead with 11:25 left in the first quarter.

Midfielder Dylan Alderman scored the first of his two goals with 7:38 left in the opening period, but Hofstra never really got any sustained offensive rhythm. That’s why when the Wildcats scored twice in the first minute of the third quarter — Palmadesso off the opening faceoff and Colin Crowley on a feed from Seibel — for a 5-1 lead, that deficit seemed insurmountable.

“They have a good defense,” Alderman acknowledged. “But we didn’t stick to the game plan. We need to back up our defense, which played well. We watched them on film and we knew what they’d do, but we just didn’t execute.”

It wasn’t an offensive clinic for either team — in a rarity, the second and fourth quarters were scoreless — but Villanova had a definite advantage in time of possession. That allowed the Wildcats to outshoot Hofstra 39-29 and their advantage on faceoffs and, especially on ground balls (34-18), gave Hofstra very few good scoring opportunities. That frustration was best reflected in Seth’s son, Ryan, shooting 0-for-8.

Both goalies played well, contributing to the silent offenses. “I was proud of Jack,” Seth Tierney said of Pride goalie Jack Concannon, who made 13 saves but was visibly upset when the first two goals of the third quarter trickled in after he got his body on the blasts. Nick Testa stopped 12 shots.

“Their goalie played well, but some of those saves were low-angle shots because we were pressing a little bit,” Tierney said. “Our defense stood up. It’s hard to be upset with them. But we’ve got to know where 6 [Seibel] is and we’ve got to slide to 30 [Cuccinello]. They had some long possessions and we played way too much defense.

“We have to reset,” Tierney added. “But it’s only Week 2.”

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