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Offensive barrage leads Pride to rout of Bucknell in season opener

The Hofstra women’s lacrosse team kicked off 2018 with a bang, scoring 10 goals in the first half en route to a 13-1 thrashing of Bucknell University on Saturday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium.

“It’s really exciting to get that first win out of the way,” said head coach Shannon Smith. “I thought our team really came out hard, right from the first whistle.”

The Pride certainly didn’t waste any time making a statement on Saturday. Hofstra was all over the visiting Bison from the get-go, with the first goal of the season coming from Alyssa Parrella, the resident All-American, less than a minute into the contest.

Parrella, who made a name for herself on a national scale with a stellar freshman season, continued to turn heads with her performance on Saturday. She had four goals, an assist and won nine draw controls, tying a career-high.

“Alyssa’s always going to get her goals … she had some phenomenal shot opportunities,” Smith said.

While Hofstra fans may be accustomed to seeing Parrella’s name atop the stat sheet, she was joined up there by fellow sophomore Alexa Mattera, who also had four goals, much to the delight of her head coach.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment … I’ve been telling everyone in my interviews that #23 [Mattera]has been really coming along,” Smith said.

With those two combining for eight of the Pride’s 13 goals, the rest of the Hofstra scoring came from a number of different players.

A mix of vets and rookies made up the rest of the scoring for the Pride. Drew Shapiro, Amanda Seekamp and Jenna Budd, a trio of upperclassmen, each added a goal, while freshmen Shannon Boyle and Arianna Esposito also found the back of the net.

Boyle and Esposito, along with fellow freshmen Megan Motkowski and Katie Whelan, all played key roles in Saturday’s shellacking.

“It’s scary to think about, when you look down the field you didn’t see any freshman mistakes, which you usually expect,” Smith said.

Hofstra put the boots to Bucknell up and down the stat sheet, winning the shots-on-goal battle by a lopsided 22-7 and going 13-14 at the draw control circle.

Hofstra scored six of their 10 first-half goals in the first 10 minutes of the contest, using their advantage in the draw control circle to keep possession of the ball, limiting Bucknell’s offensive opportunities.

With that large lead intact, the Pride were able to lean a bit more on their defense in the second half, and the back line played a fantastic game. Bucknell’s only score of the game came with just eight minutes left to play, courtesy of Lillie Hunt.

The Pride will look to keep this red-hot start going on Tuesday afternoon, when they take a trip to Wagner College. Opening draw is set for 3 p.m.

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