Hofstra men’s lacrosse dropped its first game of the year Saturday night when Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) foe Drexel University rallied from a seven-goal deficit to win 13-12 at James M. Shuart Stadium.
Hofstra entered the field ranked in the top five teams nationwide by every major NCAA poll as the only remaining undefeated team in Division I, but were upset by a middling CAA squad that took advantage of the Pride’s mistakes in the second half.
Hofstra came out firing in the first half, gaining a 5-0 lead and dominating time of possession. Ryan Tierney and Jimmy Yanes had a combined seven goals in the first half and the team had built a seemingly insurmountable 9-2 lead by half time. However, the Drexel Dragons countered in the second half, outscoring the Pride 11-3 the rest of the way.
Head coach Seth Tierney sat with his hand covering his face for the first 30 seconds of his postgame press conference, staring at the statistics in disbelief of how his team fumbled this game away.
“Obviously a tremendously disappointing loss tonight,” he said. “At one point, it just felt like we were in quicksand and couldn’t get out of it.”
The Pride fell into a pit of despair in the fourth quarter after being outscored 7-1 by the Dragons. The Pride had four key penalties late in the game that allowed Drexel to capitalize on man-up chances.
Drexel freshman Reid Bowering scored a career-high five goals, including four in the second half that anchored the Dragons’ comeback bid.
This season, Hofstra has struggled in the fourth quarters of games. The Pride has been outscored 39-24 in fourth quarters this season, but had always found a way to pull out wins – until Saturday.
Hofstra’s second team All-American goalie Jack Concannon had his worst outing of the year, allowing a season-high 13 goals while saving six shots. He only allowed two goals during the first half and looked impressive by collecting five saves.
However, he only had one save for the rest of the contest and gave up 11 goals, looking uncharacteristically frazzled late in the game.
Senior captain Josh Byrne also struggled after scoring the first goal of the day. He was taken out of the game plan by the extra attention the Drexel defense gave him, and could not get it going when his team needed him the most.
Byrne had multiple clear looks at the net late in the game with a chance to seal a victory, but his shots misfired as he tried to force things through the tight defense.
Though most everything went wrong in this game – as the Pride were on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the first time all year – a few bright spots came from this contest.
Ryan Tierney had a career high with five goals and has been rounding into form as the season has worn on. As he is only a freshman, this is a great sign for Hofstra; he has already become one of the best attackers in the NCAA.
Yanes also finished with three goals and two assists and has been improving his offensive repertoire week after week.
Allowing such a dramatic comeback was absolutely deflating for the Pride, but the team will have a chance to regroup, move on and learn from its mistakes.
Hofstra drops to 10-1 (2-1 in CAA) with the loss, while Drexel improves to 5-6 (2-1 in CAA). The Pride will try to bounce back next Saturday at 1 p.m. against the University of Massachusetts.