Hofstra's Ryan Tierney (43) carries the ball while being covered...

Hofstra's Ryan Tierney (43) carries the ball while being covered by Towson's Gray Bodden (33) in the third quarter during the NCAA Division I men's lacrosse game between Hofstra and Towson on March 31, 2018 at Hofstra University. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Hofstra’s men’s lacrosse team entered Saturday’s game on the heels of two close losses, as strong starts were followed by lackluster finishes.

Ryan Tierney and the Pride ensured that pattern would not continue in the team’s Colonial Athletic Association opener.

Tierney scored three of his four goals in the second half to help Hofstra pull away from visiting Towson in a 9-3 win at Shuart Stadium. Hofstra took a 2-1 lead into halftime, before Jimmy Yanes scored less than two minutes into the third quarter for the Pride. Towson pulled within a goal about three minutes later to make it 3-2, but Hofstra responded with a 6-1 run that featured three goals and an assist from Tierney.

“We played well in the second half for the first time in a while,” Tierney said. “Defense stepped up and offense kept the ball in our end for as long as we could, drew some penalties and put the ball in the back of the cage.”

Hofstra gave up the winning goal with three seconds left in its previous outing against St. John’s, after it surrendered the last five goals of the game in its 13-8 loss to Lehigh, but there was no second-half trouble Saturday.

“We didn’t let up at the half,” said Jack Concannon, who made seven saves. “We continued to do what we wanted to do going into the game and it paid off.”

Midfielder Dylan Alderman opened the scoring for the Pride with 7:42 left in the first quarter, marking his return to the lineup after missing the last four games.

“I think there’s a ‘Dylan Alderman impact’ when he steps on the field,” said coach Seth Tierney (Ryan’s dad). “You even heard it from the guys behind me: ‘it’s good to have (number) 23 out there,’ not (only) for lacrosse purposes, but for people purposes, to have another leader, another guy who is going to be a calming influence.”

Ryan Tierney doubled the Hofstra lead about four minutes later and while Towson (3-6, 0-1) scored early in the second quarter, the hosts responded with a strong third. Brendan Kavanagh scored with 5:27 left in the period to make it 6-2 Hofstra. Towson scored with five seconds left in the third, but Dylan McIntosh, Tierney and Yanes scored in the fourth for the Pride.

“You need to get out to a good start in the CAA. It’s only a five-game season,” Seth Tierney said. “Every game is huge.”

Thanks to a good finish, Hofstra got that good start.