By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor
Extra-man opportunities proved vital on Saturday.
After seeing its conference record drop to 1-2 in a heartbreaking loss to Towson one week ago, the Hofstra men's lacrosse team evened up its CAA record with a 13-9 victory over St. Joseph's.
St. Joseph's (3-7, 0-4 CAA), has not won a CAA game since it joined the conference last year, dropping its all-time record to 0-10.
Hofstra (6-5, 2-2 CAA) was given four extra-man opportunities Saturday afternoon, one of them non-releasable with 11:05 left in the game and St. Joseph's charging back to within two goals.
Goals from grad midfielder Steve Serling and sophomore midfielder Stephen DiGiovanni in a span of 22 seconds put the game away with 6:02 remaining.
"We've been putting a lot of extra work on the man-up," said Serling. "Our percentage wasn't exactly where we wanted it to be, but I think the extra work we've been putting in is paying off."
Despite St. Joseph's struggles in the CAA, Hofstra's domination did not exactly show on the scoreboard.
"I thought it was too sloppy to be more goals," said Tierney. "I thought we didn't finish the ball well, we had some major breakdowns defensively."
The finishing was top notch in the game's first four minutes as Hofstra netted four goals, two of them from senior attack Mike DeNapoli. DeNapoli recorded a career high five points as he and eight others celebrated senior day at Shuart Stadium.
"It is senior day and your last game here you want to go out on top," said DeNapoli. "It is a little extra inspiration that it's your last game at Shuart but we got three games left that are really important to us."
"Certainly thrilled for the seniors, they get to go out with a W on senior day," said Tierney. "I'm seeing a lot of guys in the scoring column."
Along with DeNapoli, junior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti, freshman attack Lance Yapor and Serling recorded two goals.
St. Joseph's managed to stabilize the game, holding Hofstra to two goals for the rest of the first half with the game at 6-3 come halftime.
The Hawks made their move towards the end of the third quarter and early fourth quarter as Ryan McGee cut the deficit to two before the non-releasable penalty.
Junior midfielder John Antoniades helped Hofstra take full advantage of its opportunities by controlling the face-off circle and getting the offense the ball as much as possible. Antoniades was 19-25 on the day.
"We had the wing guys out there who helped out a lot [on face-offs]," said Antoniades. "If you can score and win and a face-off and score and win a face-off, it's the best strategy you can really have."
Hofstra did have difficulty with communication as the clear game and passing struggled.
"We had a bunch of turnovers today, which I wasn't thrilled about, certainly some failed clears and some dropped passes," said Tierney. "Spring break is here and we're going to work on clearing, we're going to work on having the ball and we're going to try and get our lacrosse IQ up for the last few games."
The Pride was 9-14 on clear attempts with 15 turnovers.
Despite the turnovers, Tierney recognized how important that win was for his team.
"That was a huge game for us," said Tierney. "We're now 2-2 in conference play...we're going to watch some film, find some Easter eggs tomorrow and get back at it on Monday."
Hofstra is next in action on Saturday in the Warrior Classic when it takes on North Carolina