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Sam Llinares, Josh Byrne spur Hofstra to upset of No. 5 UNC

Hofstra's Sam Llinares tries to control the ball

Hofstra's Sam Llinares tries to control the ball against Drexel at Shuart Stadium on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Sam Llinares and Josh Byrne made quite an introduction Saturday and so did the Hofstra men’s lacrosse team.

Llinares, a senior attack from Hauppauge, scored five goals to lead the Pride to a 10-5 victory over No. 5 North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Pride never trailed the Tar Heels.

Byrne, a junior attack who came to the team from Nassau CC, had four goals and two assists in his Division I debut.

“I was definitely a little bit rusty,” Byrne, who scored the first goal of the game, said of getting used to Division I defenders. “It’s a pretty good feeling. It’s one of those things where a lot of things go your way, everybody’s playing well and when it all comes together, it’s pretty nice.”

Llinares scored two consecutive goals to give the Pride a commanding 9-2 lead with 6:31 left in the third quarter. He previously put his team up by two with more than a minute to go in the first.

Hofstra scored three straight to take a 4-1 lead with 7:01 left until halftime and Byrne and Llinares combined for five consecutive scores late in the third to go up by seven. Dylan Alderman also scored for the Pride.

UNC’s Brian Balkam, a redshirt sophomore from St. James and Smithtown East High School, made 10 saves. The Tar Heels (2-1) put together a late rally with back-to-back goals by Tate Jozokos and Peyton Klawinski, but Llinares responded with a goal to make it 10-4 within the final six minutes.

“Certainly, I’m proud of the guys, they deserve the credit,” Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said. “They played together and they played with a tremendous amount of effort.”

Tierney added that Hof stra’s defense, including goalie Jack Concannon (11 saves), made stops at big moments and made transitions up the field, but Byrne and Llinares carried the day.

“Sam let the game come to him today,” Tierney said. “Instead of pushing the gas at times, we didn’t need it, he played great off-ball offense. He did a good job playing off of Josh today and Josh playing off of him. It was a pretty good start.”

— PETER CAPPIELLO

Pride women lose

Lindsay Scott had three goals and two assists, but it wasn’t enough as host Hofstra lost to Harvard, 16-8. Harvard’s Julia Glynn, a Manhasset product, scored six goals, four in the first half, and had an assist. The Crimson (1-0) began the game with four straight goals and led 9-3 with 17:30 left until halftime.

The Pride (0-2) scored three consecutive goals in the next three minutes to make it 9-6.

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