It certainly was no breeze for Hofstra Tuesday night.
Trading goals with St. John's in a back-and-forth match and battling a fierce wind, the Pride finally pulled away for a 10-7 men's lacrosse victory at Shuart Stadium.
Senior attack Sam Llinares, who endured a slow start, scored twice in the fourth quarter en route to a hat trick and set up two more goals. Brier Davis also tallied two of his three goals in the deciding period as Hofstra (3-4) won for the second time in four days.
While the players downplayed the conditions, Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said he told his team "to try to shorten our exchanges. We did throw a couple away. The winds were out of north-northwest at 19 miles an hour. I felt it was moving a little bit faster than that."
The Pride had dropped their four losses by a total of six goals, so winning a close one was vital. Both of Hofstra's previous two wins were by more than 11 goals apiece.
"It's really important to understand how to win a game in the fourth quarter in the closing minutes because those plays, they mean a lot more," Tierney said. "For us to stand up and win a 60-minute game and to be tight, it was a good test for us."
Facing a 6-5 deficit entering the fourth quarter after Eric DeJohn's third goal for the Red Storm (2-6), the Pride outscored the Storm 5-1 in the period to pull away. Davis scored the equalizer 54 seconds into the fourth before Llinares tallied twice within 2:06 at 12:55 and 10:49 -- the second a spectacular one-bounce shot from the right side -- to give the hosts an 8-6 advantage. Mike Malave scored the second of his two goals off a Llinares feed at 10:11. Stefan Diachenko's second goal closed the gap to 9-7 before Davis struck with 1:08 left for the final goal.
"I was happy with the poise, happy with the fight," Tierney said.
Hofstra freshman Dylan Alderman finished with a goal and three assists.
"Very smooth transition for him," Llinares said. "He stepped right into the offense from Day One. He has a lot of confidence."
The Pride begins its Colonial Athletic Association schedule against Massachusetts at home on Saturday.
"For the people that know what Hofstra-UMass is, it's a huge rivalry," Tierney said. "They're two teams that like each other maybe in August and for the other 11 months there are no greeting cards being sent back and forth. I expect a war on Saturday."