By Joe Pantorno , Sports Editor
Speaking with Hofstra women's lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan after the Pride's 11-4 loss against no. 3 Maryland, you would think there would be some basis for moral victory.
"It's a game we definitely should have won," said Morgan. "Our team should be at that level. We were for 40 minutes."
The Hofstra (2-3) defense, fueled by a career high 20 saves from senior goalie Jaclyn Pandolf, held an offense that averages almost 17 goals per game to just 11, while some new faces stepped up to create some big offensive chances.
"Our defense and Jackie did all that they could do," said Morgan. "Our defense could have given Jackie [Pandolf] way less shots to save, but we needed to take care of the ball."
Freshman midfielders Brittain Altomare and April Iannetta impressed on their home Hofstra debuts. Iannetta recorded a goal and an assist as she seemed very comfortable within the Hofstra offense, making cuts and runs that put the Pride in decent offensive positions.
Altomare provided an opening assist just 53 seconds into the game on a sophomore midfielder Jenn Ward goal to provide a dream start for the Pride.
"Our confidence was definitely up," said sophomore attacker Lindsay McKinnon. "When the ball wasn't staying in our stick we had someone behind us to pick it up, we were winning all the ground balls with that kind of Hofstra hustle."
Maryland (5-1) quickly equalized and jumped out to a 6-3 lead thanks to a first-half hat trick from midfielder Katie Schwarzmann, who now ranks sixth in the nation with 19 goals.
Despite the Maryland attack, Pandolf had one of her best games of her career as she was called into action many times to make some difficult saves. Pandolf now leads the nation in saves with 61.
"I was seeing it [the ball] perfectly well," said Pandolf. "It's a little bit of a confidence booster but I'm more concerned about my team and where we can go from here."
Goals from McKinnon and senior midfielder Maryann Miller had Hofstra down 7-4 going into halftime, but that would be all the scoring there would be for the home team.
The Maryland defense began to stifle as Hofstra's inexperience showed. The Pride managed to break down the Terrapins defense on a few occasions, but the final pass was lacking every time.
"Really in that second half and the turnovers that we had were not by Maryland, they were our own turnovers," said Morgan. "That's frustrating. It's definitely frustrating because that was a game we should have won."
Despite the heroics of Pandolf, Maryland found the back of the net four more times in the second half to cruise to victory.
Hofstra is next in action this Sunday when it hosts Rutgers.