By Sean WilliamsASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
The Hofstra men’s lacrosse team floundered against a powerful UNC Tar Heels team at home this Saturday, losing by a score of 14–5 after leading at the end of the first half.
Junior Lance Yapor’s two goals and goalie Chris Selva’s career high 17 saves were not enough to stop an intense North Carolina attack, one that scored 10 goals in the second half and was led by senior Marcus Holman, who had seven points.
“They have a talented offensive lacrosse team, there’s no getting around it,” said head coach Seth Tierney. “I’m not thrilled with the score or the outcome, and we got to get back to work.”
The game started off well enough for the Pride, who jumped out to a 2–0 lead against the No. 3 team in the country, thanks to freshman standout Sam Llinares and Yapor. The Tar Heels battled back and knotted the match at 2–2.
The back and forth first half closed with a 5–4 Pride advantage, as the fired-up Hofstra team fought against an aggressive North Carolina attack.
“I thought we were locked in during the first half,” said Tierney. “We get into halftime, obviously we want to stay positive. We’re up 5–4, the crowd atmosphere was terrific.”
The second half was not positive for the Pride, to say the least. The UNC attack started clicking, and goals started pouring in.
“There were some long possessions, and we started to get tired defensively… that’s probably the best attack in the country, the best attack we’ve seen,” said Tierney. “… dominos were just dropping on us after another and we just couldn’t stop it.”
The second half could not have gotten much uglier for Hofstra, as the exhausted defense could not make stops and North Carolina put up 26 shots. The third period was especially tough on the Pride, one that featured a 17–5 shot comparison between the two teams.
“Defensively we just stopped talking and gave up a bunch of goals that were unearned,” said Tierney. “Since I’ve been the head coach, that’s the worst 30 minutes we’ve ever played.”
Tierney shouldered blame for the loss, “I want our guys to get credit for the wins and I want to take the sole blame for the losses.”
He said, “I’m proud of our guys for fighting hard, and we have no time to lick our wounds because the next game is huge. We know we can do it and we need to get back at it.”
Hofstra plays UMass this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in another home game. This upcoming match is a critical one for Hofstra.
“If we’re fortunate enough to get a win this Saturday night that would solidify a spot in the NCAA Tournament, as I see it,” said Tierney. “As a group of 46, we need to be locked in on what we need to get done.”