In just his fourth collegiate appearance, Bryce Tolmie played the role of hero for the Hofstra men’s lacrosse team, corralling a ground ball and scoring the game-winning goal for Hofstra in a tight 7-6 contest against the Monmouth University Hawks on a blustery Wednesday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium.
“I had missed a few balls earlier, but we got another power play and luckily I was able to be there and make the play,” Tolmie said after the game.
It was the ultimate case of right place, right time for the freshman as the seconds ticked down in Wednesday’s game. After fellow freshman Dylan McIntosh fired off a shot that was saved but not secured by Hawks goalie Noah Lode, the ball found itself right at Tolmie’s feet.
With sticks slashing and multiple Monmouth defenders swarming in an attempt to clear the ball, Tolmie snatched it up and flipped it over Lode’s shoulder, finding the back of the net to give Hofstra a one-goal lead with just 1:37 left, a lead that would stand up despite a couple more shots from the Hawks in the waning seconds.
“I saw the ball on the ground, and the goalie looking around for it … it was more reactionary than anything,” Tolmie said.
The goal came after a nearly eight-minute stretch in the fourth quarter in which both teams took their time offensively, using up the shot clock and trying to find space to create an open look on net. Tolmie’s goal broke a scoreless streak that extended way back to the 9:30 mark of the final quarter, when Monmouth tied the game at six after being down 6-4 to start the quarter.
That two-goal margin was as big as the lead would get for Hofstra, as Monmouth kept right on their heels.
“Credit to Monmouth, they played one hell of a game,” said Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney. “They’re a very well-coached team.”
While unable to take a lead throughout Wednesday’s game, the Hawks forced three ties and had Hofstra struggling to break ahead, a struggle made more strenuous by the injury bug that’s bitten the team in recent weeks.
Hofstra was without midfielder Dylan Alderman on Wednesday after he had left the previous game against the University of North Carolina. Alex Moeser left Wednesday’s game, and Brendan Kavanagh was playing banged-up all afternoon long.