In many respects, host Hofstra's 9-7 men's lacrosse loss to Massachusetts on Saturday turned into a tale of two Brendans.
Sophomore Brendan Hagerty had a hat trick, including two vital second-half goals for UMass (3-5) in a physical Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams. "It means a lot to be back on Long Island against these guys," he said. "It's always a battle against them, so it feels good."
Freshman Brendan Kavanagh did not feel as good. His third goal pulled Hofstra (3-5) within 6-5 in the third quarter, but he was given an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that changed the momentum. "As a freshman, today he learned what not to do," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney said.
After Hofstra sophomore Zachary Franco scored his first collegiate goal, Kavanagh made it 6-5 at 8:04. But he was penalized, apparently for taunting an opponent. "I didn't say anything to the kid," he said. "I was just kind of yelling . . . It looked like I was getting after him a little bit. It was just a lot of emotion."
Said Tierney: "It's no excuse for it. Brendan knows how we feel about it. He's a freshman who scored a big goal in a big game . . . We've got to be able to keep our poise. Could have been facing off and having a little momentum. It wasn't the only play, so it doesn't all go on Brendan's shoulders."
With Kavanagh serving a one-minute penalty, Andrew Sokol scored a man-up goal at 8:57. Hagerty made it 8-5 with a one-bouncer at 9:45 before beating goalie Chris Selva from close range at 5:11 of the fourth.
"The momentum swings were big," Hagerty said. "That one was key for us to get an extra man. We really capitalized."
Tierney couldn't believe that the Pride bested UMass in every important statistical category but the score.
"A tough one today," he said. "I don't think we showed up as best as we could have and should have. For that, there's a regret."
Hofstra's Sam Llinares and Mike Malave scored two goals each. Brier Davis had one.
Hofstra, which was averaging 12 goals entering the game, failed to reach double figures for the second time this season. "We didn't have so much of a great shot selection today," Malave said. "We didn't have much poise."
Llinares, who has a team-best 24 goals, agreed. "We rushed a little bit," he said. "In a game that we're down a couple of goals constantly ... we were trying to make some things happen. Basically, we kind of lost our poise. We were seeing the ball well, but it's on us to shoot smart."