In a matchup of Top 20 teams, the No. 19 Hofstra men’s lacrosse team fell 13-8 against No. 12 Lehigh University on a rainy Tuesday night at James M. Shuart Stadium.
Sophomore attackman Ryan Tierney recorded an astonishing seven assists (the most by a Hofstra player since 1995), but Lehigh pulled away late, outscoring the Pride 4-0 in the fourth quarter. With the loss, Hofstra’s four-game winning streak was snapped.
“My teammates were just shooting the ball well. I wasn’t doing anything special, just getting my guys the ball and they placed it in good spots,” Tierney said of his rare performance.
Things seemed to be going Hofstra’s way early, with the Pride jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, highlighted by a behind the back goal dump-in goal from Dylan McIntosh. With a clear edge in momentum, the Pride seemed to lose focus early, dropping easy passes and suffering blaring mental lapses.
After an early Lehigh timeout, the Mountain Hawks took over the game, playing their brand of lacrosse and flustering the Pride’s typically stellar defense. They scored two goals in the final minute of the first quarter and put Hofstra on their heels thereafter. It didn’t help that second-team All-American defenseman Brett Osman went down with an injury in the first half either.
“(Lehigh) got a chance to play their way, their formula and we couldn’t get them to pay our formula… We didn’t have it the way we did these past four games,” said Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney.
That formula really boiled down to time of possession for Lehigh. They dominated the faceoff opportunities as Pride sophomore Kyle Gallagher was called for multiple faceoff infractions. The Mountain Hawks also out-hustled the Pride, leading in ground balls with a 30-20 advantage that led to more shots and more time on offense.
Lehigh pushed their lead up to 7-4 early in the third quarter before a Pride rally tied the game up at 8-8 late in the quarter. However, a late tie-breaking goal gave the Mountain Hawks a lead they would never relinquish.
A key component of this game was Lehigh’s ability to score in waning moments. They scored four goals within the final 34 seconds of quarters, teaching the Pride a lesson that they must always play until the whistle blows.
Brendan Kavanagh paced the Pride with three goals, while Jimmy Yanes and McIntosh had two apiece, but the Lehigh defense stifled Hofstra’s attack in the fourth quarter, leading to a Mountain Hawks victory.
With the loss, Hofstra falls to 4-3 on the year while Lehigh improves to 7-2.
The Pride will look to bounce back against local rival St. John’s University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Queens.