By Max Sass, Sports Editor
The Pride had waited for its chance at revenge for weeks with an opportunity to make up for the lone blemish on its otherwise perfect resume against Delaware.
Instead of taking out its frustration on Delaware, the Pride (13-2) had to watch as the Blue Hens stormed its field Wednesday night, celebrating their 10-9 victory in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament semifinals.
"Like a scene out of Armageddon," Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney said of Delaware storming his home field. "I see all the pictures of the seniors faces just flash through my head. Guys that said, ‘I do' in the recruiting process five or six years ago and came to Hofstra and brought Hofstra lacrosse to an unbelievable level and I'm awfully proud of them."
Hofstra was close to having a celebration of its own. The Pride swung the momentum its way multiple times, rallying to within just one goal, but just could not overcome Delaware (10-6).
The game seemed all but over down three with 2:33 left to play, but with 1:00 remaining, junior attacker Kevin Ford scored his fifth goal of the game to bring the Pride to within 10-8.
With the way sophomore midfielder John Antonaides had been winning face-offs (11-18 on the day), the Pride still had a chance.
He did win the face-off, quickly dishing to senior attacker Jamie Lincoln who buried his twenty-ninth goal of the year to make the teams separated by just one.
Hofstra did win the ensuing face-off and with 0:38 remaining, Tierney called time out.
Coming out of the timeout, sophomore midielder Ian Braddish dodged two defenders and fired a shot that was saved by Delaware goalie Noah Fossner. Again all hope seemed lost.
But senior attacker Jay Card picked the Pride up when he delivered a powerful check to Fossner, freeing the ball and regaining possession with 0:16 to play.
Braddish set up again, dodged his defender and instead of shooting, he tried a soft shovel pass to Lincoln that was knocked down by Delaware as time ran out for the Blue Hens' first win at Hofstra since 1999.
Even with just two losses by a combined two goals, the Pride sits squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble due to a relatively weak strength of schedule. While Tierney said the Pride will be in the discussion, he and his team plan to be in front of the television Sunday night at nine for the selection show.
Delaware scored first, just over a minute into game play, but Hofstra quickly responded with two goals, one by Card and one by Ford, to take the lead. The Hens quickly matched though and went on a 4-0 scoring run that gave them a 5-2 lead at halftime.
Ford scored his second of the game to open the second half, but Eric Smith matched two minutes later for Delaware.
Junior goalie Andrew Gvozden made a save on a point-blank shot that seemed to motivate his team, but he quickly was checked and turned the ball over in his own end. The failed clear led to a Delaware goal and its biggest lead of the game at 7-3.
Eric Smith recorded a hat trick early in the final quarter when he wrapped around the net and scored to put Delaware up 8-5. Ford answered with the next two goals, to make it a one-goal game again.
Delaware scored two more to go up 10-7.