The Hofstra Pride women’s lacrosse team started its weekend on a high note with a dominant 18-6 win over the Tribe of William and Mary at James M. Shuart Stadium on Friday night. Hofstra is now 8-6 this year with a 2-3 CAA record, good for sixth in the conference. The Pride got off to a slow start, falling behind 2-1 early in the game. But after the first seven minutes, Hofstra went on a 14-0 run, which lasted the final 23 minutes of the first half and extended into the second half of play.
“We’ve really come to learn that the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team likes being down in the beginning of first halves,” joked Hofstra head coach Shannon Smith. “I think what changed is that we put Becky [Conto] on the draw. Becky’s got a little more height… and she turned the game around for us.”
Senior Becky Conto led the team and tied her career high with nine draw controls, but she didn’t do it alone.
“Alexa Mattera on the offensive side [had] huge box-outs and when I couldn’t get the ball, she was getting the ball, so I think we work really well together,” Conto said.
Draw controls are crucial in the game of women’s lacrosse, because a draw control win means an offensive possession, which leads to scoring.
Drew Shapiro led the Pride in scoring and tied her career high with five goals. Shapiro originally set her career high in the Pride’s last game, which was their upset against Towson University.
“I think it’s just everyone being focused on the offensive side of the field,” Shapiro said when asked about her success in the past few games. “We’re all working really well together and recognizing… when it’s a good time to get the ball around a couple of times.”
Shapiro was joined by Alyssa Parrella (four goals) and Conto (three goals) as the Pride’s leading scorers, but there were seven total Hofstra players who scored.
“We have a lot of different weapons on the offensive side of the field,” Coach Smith said. “We’re starting to really gain our confidence and we’re putting our shots away.”
Sophomore goalie Maddie Fields had five saves on the day and the Hofstra defense allowed only six goals against the Tribe, the defense's fourth lowest amount of goals allowed this season.
“I think this defense is really starting to grow,” Coach Smith said. “We started out in the beginning of the season very young, and I think they’re really starting to grow and communicate really well…”
The Pride will now travel down to North Carolina to take on Elon, their final CAA foe of the regular season.
“We have to win,” Conto said. “There is no option. If we don’t win, we don’t make the CAA tournament. So, going forward, we have to get focused. It starts right now.”
The top four teams in the CAA make the postseason, and the Pride are currently sitting at sixth place, behind Drexel and Delaware.
Game time for this crucial CAA matchup against Elon is set for 12 p.m. Elon holds a 10-5 overall record and is 2-2 in CAA play.