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Hofstra women’s lacrosse puts up a fight, but falls to No. 1 Maryland

Hofstra's Morgan Knox #18 looks for the open

Hofstra's Morgan Knox #18 looks for the open player during the first half of Stony Brook's game against Hofstra at Stony Brook University's Lavalle Stadium on April 22, 2016. Credit: Daniel De Mato

Hofstra welcomed the No. 1 lacrosse team in the nation to Shuart Stadium Saturday afternoon, but despite a competitive showing, the Pride could not keep up with Maryland’s firepower.

The top-ranked Terrapins defeated Hofstra, 18-7, in a non-conference women’s lacrosse game to earn a victory over the Pride for the sixth consecutive season. Morgan Knox scored three goals for the hosts, who kept things close early but were done in by a 9-0 first half surge from Maryland.

“Maryland is the number one team in the country for a reason,” coach Shannon Smith said. “They have a lot of scoring weapons on offense and they’re a great program. I thought our players played really hard for a full 60 minutes all over the field.”

This was particularly evident in the beginning of the game, as Hofstra opened the scoring with a goal from Knox less than three minutes in. Six minutes later, Alexa Mattera scored to tie the game at 2 and scored again near the 15-minute mark to cut Maryland’s lead to 4-3.

The Pride (2-2) were getting outshot, but goalie Maddie Fields kept the Terrapins in check early and saved five of the first nine shots she faced. By the end of the first half, Maryland’s advantage in shot volume became too much for the Pride, as the Terrapins finished the period on a 9-0 run. They outshot Hofstra 26-9 in the first half and finished the game with a 41-23 edge.

“They started to break a little bit and got a three-goal lead on us,” Smith said. “In that three-goal (run), we had three or four opportunities to score goals and we missed them. We dropped passes wide open in the middle and we missed two fast break goals. Against a team like Maryland, you can’t do that.”

Hofstra came into the game tied for 21st in the nation in goals per game (14.3) but ran into a wall in the form of Maryland goalie Megan Taylor, who was seventh nationally in save percentage (.571). Taylor saved 10 of the 16 shots on goal she faced for a .625 save rate, marking a stark contrast to the Pride’s first three games, where opponents stopped just 33.8 percent of their shots.

Knox said facing Taylor was a challenge. “You definitely have to be able to finish the ball,” she said. “You have to know how to fake her and go small . . . Going in, we knew we had to play our best game.”

Lexi Lenaghan also had two goals for Hofstra, while Zoe Stukenberg scored five for Maryland (4-0).

“It’s a good measuring stick to see where your team is,” Smith said. “The question and the challenge for the kids in the locker room and us as a coaching staff is, ‘can we continue to play with the heart and hustle and the determination we had on the field?’”

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