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Ryan Tierney debuts with hat trick as Hofstra tops Monmouth

Ryan Tierney #43 of Hofstra carries the ball

Ryan Tierney #43 of Hofstra carries the ball during an NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game against Monmouth at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, NY on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Tierney, a freshman and 2016 All-American at Massapequa High School, scored three times in his collegiate debut. Credit: James Escher

Barely three minutes into his college career Saturday, Ryan Tierney already had his first goal under his belt.

By the time the final whistle sounded, the freshman attack had recorded his first hat trick in Hof stra’s season-opening 11-9 victory over Monmouth at Shuart Stadium.

Given that he’s the son of Hofstra coach Seth Tierney, there might have been some questions about whether Ryan deserved to start. However, he left no doubt as Hof stra snapped the Hawks’ road winning streak at seven.

“The best thing that Ryan has done is that he has taken the decision out of my hands,” Seth Tierney said. “He has proved that he should be one of those guys that are starting. The reaction of his teammates really made that decision. My advice to him was just to have fun.”

He did, enjoying an impressive debut while joining Josh Byrne and Brendan Kavanagh with three-goal performances in the non-league game.

“He obviously has a couple of extra bricks on his shoulders,” Seth Tierney said. “He doesn’t want to let his team down and doesn’t want to let himself down. For a young man, sometimes that is difficult to handle, but he’s done a wonderful job. He’ll enjoy that for a night and I’m sure he’ll be screamed at for an entire week.”

For one day, at least, praise was heaped on him.

“He is a very gifted kid,” said Byrne, who set up Tierney’s final goal at 13:49 of the third quarter with one of his three assists as Hofstra went ahead 11-6. “He’s been coached very well. He knows exactly how to play the game. I know that if I’m open, he’s going to find me. A very unselfish player. When he gets the ball, he’s going to finish it.”

If Tierney was nervous, it didn’t show. He finished off Jimmy Yanes’ feed on his first shot, beating goalie Nick Hreshko for a 1-0 lead at 2:48.

“I was very comfortable just because of the people around me that had me going up like Kav and Bernie,” he said. “Always my back, saying ‘Let’s go.’ The atmosphere of the team kept me composed.”

After Massapequa’s Eamon Campbell (two goals) tied the score at 5:40, Kavanagh scored the first of three consecutive Hofstra goals at 6:30 for a 4-1 lead it never relinquished.

The Pride was penalized six times before it was awarded its first man-up advantage in the third quarter. Hofstra also won only six of 21 faceoffs. Freshman Kyle Gallagher, who replaced the injured Kris Clarke, won three of 14.

Seth Tierney noted that six months ago, Gallagher injured his neck jumping into water.

“For him to be out on the field today was no less of a miracle,” he said. “He battled. The stats did not look good. There was some pressure that was coming from all different angles. For him to go out and battle after what he’s been through, I’m awfully proud of him.”

Monmouth made Hofstra sweat, recording four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter as Zack Schleicher and Justin Schwenk struck within a six-second span in the final 50 seconds.

“A little bit towards the end, we let up a little,” said goalie Jack Concannon, who had 11 saves. “Those are things we need to work on.”

Alex Moeser and Tanner Griffin scored for Hofstra. Chandler Vanderbeek, Tyler Keen, Dylan Schulte, Eric Berger and Griffin Figel scored for Monmouth.

New York Sports