Four days removed from a historic victory over No. 8 North Carolina, Hofstra men’s lacrosse coach Seth Tierney didn’t want his team to fall for what he called the “optical illusion” with a home matchup against Monmouth Wednesday.
But the No. 19 Pride were nearly victims to just that, escaping with a 7-6 victory over Monmouth at Shuart Stadium Wednesday afternoon. Bryce Tolmie scored winning goal off a rebound with 1:39 remaining in the game to break a tie at 6 and send Hofstra on a three-game winning streak.
“We called it ‘Don’t fall for the optical illusion’ and we fell for it a little bit,” Tierney said. “And again, we got away with it with a win and hopefully we learned that lesson. Each team has to learn this lesson and it was the mirage, that optical illusion. Forget about names, forget about guys, whatever it is. Just embrace competing with each other and enjoy playing lacrosse.”
The Pride (3-2) played without their second-leading scorer in midfielder Dylan Alderman, who Tierney said is being evaluated with an injury and that the team “will see where he is in the near future.” There were points in the game when Hofstra’s entire starting midfield was off the field thanks to injuries.
“No excuse, next man up and I’m thrilled that we gutted this out,” Tierney said. “You kind of knew it was happening and I’m just proud of the way the guys gutted it out at the end. It wasn’t pretty, but sometimes wins aren’t and we’re on the right side of the scoreboard.”
Jack Concannon had nine saves in the win, keeping the Pride in the game even with a slowed offensive attack. Hofstra led 4-3 at halftime and 6-4 after the third quarter, before Monmouth (2-4) scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to tie the score.
Ryan Tierney had three goals and an assist for the Pride, and was the only player on the team with multiple points. He knew, despite only being a sophomore, that he would be needed to play a larger role because of the team’s injuries.
“They’re a huge part,” Ryan Tierney said. “Dylan Alderman being out, he’s a huge igniter . . . so I had to find ways to help my team more without them.”
“He led more today than he probably ever has,” said Seth Tierney, who is also Ryan’s father. “He was more vocal, but when you have three senior middies that aren’t there anymore, you find yourself as the elder statesman as a sophomore.”
But in the final two minutes, it was Tolmie, a freshman, with the biggest goal of the game — corralling a ground ball and rebound in front of the box and scoring with a man-advantage with 1:39 remaining to break the tie at 6.
“I missed a few balls earlier and I was really getting down on myself,” Tolmie said. “We got another power play and luckily I was able to be there in the moment to be able to make the play.”