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Hofstra falls victim to second-half surge from High Point to close out season

A strong start led to a detrimental second half for the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team at James M. Shuart Stadium on Thursday evening. The Pride fell to No. 19 High Point University in a disappointing 13-9 loss to close out the regular season.

The victory extended the Panther’s winning streak to 14 games and improved them to 15-2. Hofstra fell below .500 to end the season with a 8-9 record.

“A really heartbreaking loss,” said head coach Shannon Smith. “We played really well. We had some spurts of some really good play, and then some bad spurts of some turnovers on the offensive side.”

Alyssa Parrella scored four goals to tie Kathleen Mikowski for the single-season record of 57, which she set in 2003. Parrella’s 80 points this season falls one point shy of Brittain Altomare’s single-season record of 81 set in 2015. The sophomore also now has 156 points to rank eighth all-time and 104 goals to rank ninth all-time.

“A tremendous opportunity for Alyssa right there. It wouldn’t be done without her teammates,” Smith said. “[I’m] really proud of her and it couldn’t happen to a more special kid.”

But even Parrella’s record-tying night wasn’t enough to help Hofstra complete a solid start.

Hofstra came out of the gates dominant, scoring three goals in the opening four minutes of the match up to put themselves up 3-0. Parrella opened scoring, followed by senior teammate Drew Shapiro before Parrella netted a second goal. The Panthers answered and led by Samantha Herman, they went on their own 3-0 run to tie things up.

The Pride kept their defense strong and their offensive line pushed forward to close out the opening half by scoring three of the final four goals to lead 6-4 at the break. Katie Whelan, Jenna Budd, and Carlee Ancona all contributed to put Hofstra on top.

While Hofstra dominated the ball possession in the first half with Parrella winning eight draw controls for the Pride and limiting the Panthers to two, something changed in the second half. The Pride’s dominant performance was no longer existent as High Point came out looking to fix what was going wrong.

High Point won eight draw controls in the second half, while the Pride won five. But perhaps even more alarming was the 23 turnovers by Hofstra on the evening.

“I think this is one of the most turnovers we’ve had,” Smith said.

The Panthers knotted the score behind a goal from Ashley Britton to make the game tied at six with 27:01 to go. It took nearly five minutes for the Pride to gain their first substantial time of possession, which allowed Shapiro and Parrella to answer back. They each scored a goal to put Hofstra up 8-6.

It was after those two goals that Hofstra’s hopes of upsetting High Point and winning their final regular season game were diminished. The Panthers offense surged to sore six straight goals and build an insurmountable 13-8 lead with less than four minutes left to play. Parrella scored her fourth goal of the evening off a free-position shot with just under three minutes left to tie the single season goal record.

In her final game, Ancona tallied a goal and two assists, while Shapiro also had her final two goals in a Pride uniform. Classmate Amanda Seekamp caused a career-high four turnovers and four ground balls.

Abby Hormes led High Point with three goals, while Erica Perrotta and Maggie Williams each tacked on two goals and an assist.

Hofstra keeper Maddie Fields had nine saves and two ground balls for Hofstra and Jill Rall tallied eight saves for the Panthers.

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