Hofstra women's lacrosse uses big second half to pull away from Fairfield
Alexa Mattera, Alyssa Parrella and Katie Whelan each had a hat trick to help the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team (3-1) take down the Fairfield University Stags (3-1) 20-11 at Fairfield on Saturday afternoon.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half, as neither team led by more than one goal. Alexa Mattera scored an unassisted goal with 3:23 until the break to give Hofstra a 7-6 advantage at halftime. Mattera finished with a team-high six goals on Saturday.
The Pride offense exploded in the second half, as Hofstra scored eight unanswered goals to jump out to a 15-6 lead.
Hofstra went on to outscore the Stags 13-5 in the final 30 minutes.
Mattera got Hofstra started on the right foot, finding the back of the cage just 1:24 into the contest to open the scoring and put the Pride ahead early.
Jillian Winwood, who had a team-high 3 goals for the Stags, scored less than two minutes later to tie the game at one.
Brooke Gallagher, who scored both of her goals in the first half, gave Fairfield their first lead at 6-5 when she put the ball in the back of the net with 11:48 remaining in the opening half.
The Pride defense locked in after that, holding the Stags scoreless for the remainder of the first half.
Parrella and Mattera stepped up down the stretch in the first half, as Parrella knotted the score at six with 7:22 left until the break before Mattera’s go-ahead goal.
Hofstra’s defense continued to keep the Stags off the scoreboard early in the second half until Winwood finally broke the ice for Fairfield off a pass from Gallagher with 18:52 remaining, but not before Hofstra found the back of the cage eight times to put the game out of reach.
Defense has led the way in Hofstra’s earlier wins this season, as they held Bucknell and Wagner to four goals apiece in their previous two matchups.
Goalkeeper Jess Smith has played a pivotal role for the Pride, averaging nine saves in the first four games this season.
The Pride demonstrated their offensive depth against Fairfield, with seven players scoring and five finding the back of the net multiple times.
Hofstra has hit the ground running after losing to 21st-ranked USC in their season opener. All three of the Pride’s victories this season have been by a margin of at least nine goals.
Parrella and Mattera both had high expectations coming into this season, and they have not disappointed. Parrella paces the Pride with 18 goals in four games, and Mattera is the team’s second-leading scorer with 15 goals.
Hofstra will look to extend its winning streak to four games on Tuesday, Feb. 26 when they open a three-game homestand against Quinnipiac.