By John Iadevaia, Staff Writer
Head coach Seth Tierney's face said it all in the postgame press conference. Moments before, Hofstra and Fairfield had battled for over 70 minutes of lacrosse, which seemed to have it all: scoring runs, crushing hits, ground ball scraps, turnovers, goaltending, defense. But victory belonged to the Stags thanks to Brent Adams' unassisted tally with 2:07 left in the third overtime.
Hofstra started the game trailing 3-0 just three minutes into the game. The teams traded goals until the second quarter where the Pride unleashed a five-goal run from the second to third quarters, but the scoring was quelled late, mostly by an inability to put the game away late.
The intensity was high throughout the game. The second half saw bodies flying and colliding as both teams scrambled for possession. Hofstra goalie Andrew Gvozden kept his team in the game by recording 17 saves, but the Stags would get some late energy, come back, and almost win it before regulation ended. The lack of production would eventually cost the Pride.
"I don' think we lost the game on the last play. I know that ends the game," said Tierney. "I wasn't thrilled how we played in the first quarter, and there were certainly opportunities throughout the game to not make it an overtime type of game."
The unit was able to build a flow throughout the game. They cut to the middle, created lanes to open up the defense, and showed some creativity. Sophomore attack Lance Yapor scored two goals, but was not the only attacker involved. Sophomore attack Torin Varn (two goals) and senior midfielder Mike DeNapoli (one goal) found good looks in the slot. Junior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti (three goals) was dangerous from long range while junior midfielder Ian Braddish's (one goal, two assists) dodging was on display.
After struggling in the first two games, Tuesday night was the best game by the young unit. Freshman midfielders Korey Hendrickson and Ryan Reilly picked up five ground balls each while sophomore A.J. Leary also had two ground balls of his own. They fought well for possession between the restraining lines; helping out junior face off specialist John Antoniades (13-22) get Hofstra the ball.
DeNapoli went 1-6 shooting, finding many chances up close, but could not convert. Graduate midfielder Steve Serling was stymied by Stags goalie Charlie Cipriano (16 saves), including a shot in the second overtime while Braddish broke through defenders multiple times, but could not finish late.
With Hofstra was up 9-8 with five minutes left, the Pride could not put the game away allowing Fairfield to equalize.