By Max Sass, Sports Editor
It was cold outside at Shuart Stadium, 28 degrees to be exact and it took the Hofstra men's lacrosse team almost two full quarters to warm up. The Pride was tied with Colgate 1-1 before an offensive explosion of four goals over the span of almost five minutes gave the Pride a healthy lead heading into half.
"[I am] certainly happy that we got the win," Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney said "Anytime you can get a win in Division I, win at anything, it's certainly positive. To say that I think we played well or the way that I would like to play, I would be lying to you."
Each team used long methodical possessions early to try to catch the other's defense out of position early, but neither gave until junior midfielder Brad Loizeaux found the back of the net 8:31 into the game.
Colgate had a chance to tie the game in the last minute of the first quarter after a crease violation by Hofstra on the other end, but the Pride's defense stifled the attack to take a 1-0 lead into the first quarter break.
Less than five minutes into the second quarter, graduate student midfielder Steve Serling, in his first game with the Pride, dodged his defender and drew a penalty on his way to the net. The Pride failed to capitalize on the extra-man advantage when sophomore attack Michael Burke's shot was stonewalled by Colgate goalie Jared Madison.
Still down just one goal after killing the penalty, Colgate struck for its first goal of the game with 9:05 to play in the half, tying the game 1-1.
Hofstra's used a long methodical possession to add to its lead just minutes later when a pair of sophomore midfielders connected. Aaron Jones drew a double team and dumped off to Adrian Sorichetti, who wheeled around and scored the Pride's second goal of the game with 5:30 to play in the half.
The Pride doubled its lead when sophomore Ian Braddish, also in his first game at Hofstra after transferring from the University of North Carolina, fed junior attack Jay Card on the wing. Card fired from an angle and slipped the ball past Madison to put the Pride up 3-1.
Just 10 seconds later Hofstra scored again, pushing its lead to 4-1. Sophomore John Antonaides won the faceoff and passed quickly to Card who fed senior attack Stephen Bentz for the goal.
Hofstra's fifth and final goal of the half came with 0:57 left when Kevin Ford fired from 15 yards out for a goal. Ford's rip ended a run of three straight Hofstra goals, all scored within 4:42 of each other.
"I was having fun then," Tierney said of the offensive flurry. "The other 54 minutes weren't so fun."
Colgate struck first in the second half, 4:52 in, to cut Hofstra's lead to 5-2.
Hofstra slowed the pace of the game on offense, deliberately passing and moving, looking for the best shot available. The Pride killed off two penalties by Braddish with the strategy and preserved its three-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"Offensively we need to work out a couple of kinks but that's what practice is for and Hofstra is 1-0," Tierney said.
With 11:27 to play in the game, senior attack Andrew Mould of Colgate slipped the Raiders' third goal of the game past Gvozden to cut the deficit to just two.
Hofstra answered Colgate's goal with a long possession, but turned the ball over with over seven minutes remaining. Colgate failed to capitalize though, as Gvozden saved a shot from five yards out to protect the two-goal lead.
Senior forward Jamie Lincoln got on the board for the first time on the other end of the field, dodging his defender and beating Madison high to give the Pride a 6-3 lead.
Hofstra opted for a more conservative approach as time wound down in the fourth quarter passing up dodges and shots in favor of killing the clock.
Gvozden, who earned the start after splitting time last year with current sophomore Rob Bellairs, finished the game with eight saves, allowing just three goals.
"They [the coaches] said, ‘You're the starter and that's not going to change, go out and do your thing,'" Gvozden said, "and of course that's going to keep my head right when I'm out there playing. It does do a lot, but I still have to fight for my position."