While some teams view the start of a season as a figurative rebirth, the phrase “new team” will take on a more literal meaning for Hofstra men’s lacrosse in 2019.
The Pride graduated 18 players, including seven starters, from last year’s squad that went 6-8, leaving coach Seth Tierney with an abundance of fresh faces.
“I have to keep looking down at my roster [at practice],” joked Tierney regarding his team’s 16 freshmen. “It’s unprecedented in Division I, when you have a team of 40 and change and you lose 18. We have a lot of young guys running around out there, but we like the guys. The one thing that we’re lacking is game experience.
“We’re young but that doesn’t mean we’re bad and it doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of fight in us.”
That fight has been present throughout the offseason, given the abundance of vacated spots in the starting lineup, and Tierney’s son Ryan said this could give the Pride an edge.
“Second-teamers are fighting for the first spots, and the firsts have been fighting to keep their spots and that’s led to hard work,” said the junior, who led the team in goals (27) and assists (22) last year.
He will be essential to the Pride’s fortunes in 2019 because of his veteran leadership and continued growth as one of the Colonial Athletic Association’s more dangerous players.
“I’ve definitely gotten more poised,” Ryan Tierney said. “My freshman year, when I got the ball, I was always trying to do something big. I wanted people to realize I was here to play and not because my dad was the coach. I’ve realized things like the secondary assist are just as vital, even though they don’t show up on the stat sheet.”
Senior Jimmy Yanes (24 goals, 11 assists) and sophomore Dylan McIntosh (21 goals) were the team’s other two most productive scorers last season and join Tierney as the team’s only returning starters.
“Jimmy has twisted up a bunch of people behind the goal with his change of direction and change of speed,” Seth Tierney said, but added Yates could move from attack to midfield, given the team’s needs there.
Regarding McIntosh, the coach said the player from British Columbia took a little while to adjust to the Division I game before breaking out in the middle of the season in a stretch that included a six-goal performance at St. John’s.
At the other end of the field, Bobby Casey emerged from a four-way competition to succeed All-American goalie Jack Concannon.
“It’s been four guys fighting and crawling and scratching for every save,” Seth Tierney said. “Bobby Casey has shown leadership and has done a great job throughout the years being Jack Concannon’s backup, so I think that’s the direction we’re heading.”
Said Ryan Tierney: “We’re excited to see new faces out there on the field and how they play on the big stage.”
Hofstra Players to Watch:
Ryan Tierney, Attack, Jr.
He earned All-CAA first-team honors and led the Pride in goals (27) and assists (22).
Jimmy Yanes, Midfield/Attack, Sr.
The versatile player had 24 goals and 11 assists last season.
Dylan McIntosh, Attack, So.
He had 21 goals last season and scored on almost 44 percent of his shots.