By John Iadevaia, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA, PA-- It started out well for the Hofstra men's lacrosse team. After the first quarter, it was up 4-0 at Drexel University.
Junior midfielder John Antoniades was controlling the face-offs, four different goal scorers beat Dragons goalie Mark Manos. It was all Hofstra early on.
That rhythm the Pride had built disappeared for the last three quarters of the contest. Drexel would take over in the second half, going on a four-goal run to stun the Pride 6-5 at Vidas Field.
"They stayed with the program. We hit the panic button," said head coach Seth Tierney after the game. "Unfortunately we only learn after a loss. We can't have that"
Throughout the week, Tierney was concerned how his team would handle success following two wins against Delaware & St. Johns earlier in the week. Hofstra (4-4, 1-1 CAA) came out with energy, taking the home crowd out with goals from junior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti, grad midfielder Steve Serling, senior attack Mike DeNapoli and freshman attack Tyler Johnston.
Freshman attack Tyler Begley would score in the third quarter. As the contest went on, the Pride offense became stagnant. That first quarter flow vanished from the attack and midfield.
Following his seven-goal performance on Tuesday, Sorichetti tried to do too much with the ball. He was too fancy with his cradling, throwing his body into traffic, and sending wild shots on cage for Manos to stop. He finished 1-for-9 shooting, but was the catalyst for turnovers.
"He's not a hidden gem anymore" said Tierney of his star midfielder. "We can't have that from Adrian Sorichetti"
It's as if someone flipped the momentum on-off switch from Hofstra to Drexel. That was evident at face-offs and goaltending. Antoniades was giving Hofstra possessions with clean wins at the center dot. He only lost one draw in the first half. When the second half hit, he only won once, finishing 7-15 on the day.
Deven Thomas won eight straight face-offs from the end of the first half until the last of the game. Drexel's mountain of a goaltender, Manos, struggled early on, but found his confidence as the Pride's offense dwindled. Even late when the Pride showed desperation, Drexel's senior keeper was in the zone. He made a game saving stop in the final seconds when DeNapoli ripped a left wing laser.
Giveaways were the Pride's biggest downfall. Only one goal was scored in a settled situation by the Dragons. Two came right off the face-off. Three more came in transition off broken plays by Hofstra turnovers.
The clearing game struggled against an aggressive Drexel ride, going 9-14. The blue and gold midfielders struggled to get over the half line. Twice they were called for not getting into the attack box in time. Drexel capitalized on Hofstra's giveaways in the unsettled situations.
Andrew Gvozden was strong in the second half as he tried to spark his team. The senior goalie made ten saves, eight in the second half, including a late fury of stops to keep Hofstra in it.
The rain ceased before game time, but picked up in the second half, coinciding Drexel's comeback. It was symbolic of the mood in the locker room following the loss. Tierney said it would be a long week of practice to prepare for a feisty 5-3 Towson squad.
"We have to learn after a win. That's what great teams do. We're not nearly close to being great yet"