Not even a scare from a Red Storm could stop Hofstra men’s lacrosse’s quest for perfection. Hofstra, which has risen to No. 7 in the country in the latest USILA/Nike coaches poll, defeated a scrappy St. John’s team, 9-6, at Shuart Stadium on Saturday night.
Josh Byrne, Ryan Tierney and Alex Moeser each scored twice. Byrne’s goal into an empty net with 26 seconds left iced the win and kept the Pride (8-0) perfect.
“I guess the cool part about it is that we haven’t necessarily played our best lacrosse and we’re still 8-0,” Byrne said. “There’re so many things that we have to clean up, offensively and defensively . . . To be 8-0, we’re fortunate, but a long way from perfect.”
Hofstra scored twice in the third quarter for a bit of breathing room — something that was hard to come by all game. After St. John’s cut the lead to 5-4 with 7:01 left in the third, Tierney scored an athletic unassisted goal, falling to the ground as he fired the ball into the bottom right corner of the net with 5:38 left in the quarter.
“I just lost my footing,” Tierney said. “As I turned, there was an opening. I fired towards the cage and hoped for the best.”
Jimmy Yanes added a goal with 4:14 left in the third to give Hofstra a 7-4 lead.
Hofstra goalie Jack Concannon made three saves in the third quarter to keep the Pride in control.
Hofstra needed two goals in the final 1:37 of the first half to avoid going into the break locked in a tie with a team that entered the night with one win. Moeser’s second goal of the game, scored off a feed from Dylan Alderman, broke a 3-3 tie.
Less than a minute later, Tierney fired a bullet into Alderman’s stick, who was cutting toward the center of the field, 8 yards from the net. Alderman made Tierney’s pass count — putting the ball in the back of the net to give Hofstra a 5-3 lead with 45 seconds left in the half.
Prior to the late rush, St. John’s controlled the second quarter. Nick Heller cut the Pride lead to 3-2 with 13:19 left in the first half. Sachem East High School product Jason DeBenedictis tied the game with 6:23 left in the half, scoring off an assist from former Connetquot High School attackman Matt Oehl.
Heller scored the game’s opening goal 1:19 into the first quarter. Three consecutive Hofstra goals, coming from Brendan Kavanagh, Moeser and Tierney, gave the Pride a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.