By Kevin Carroll — SPORTS EDITOR
What initially looked like a sure victory turned out to be the exact opposite for the Hofstra women’s lacrosse team, dropping a 14-13 overtime heartbreaker to the University of Delaware on Saturday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium.
Hofstra led 7-0 with just a few minutes remaining in the first half, but the Blue Hens would outscore the Pride 14-6 over the rest of regulation, with Jamie Schwartz scoring the game-winner just a minute into overtime to give the Blue Hens the shocking victory.
“A heartbreaking loss, it really is, there’s no other way to say it,” said Hofstra head coach Shannon Smith. “Delaware kept fighting back … the ball didn’t bounce our way today.”
A beautiful day for lacrosse looked as if it were going to turn ugly quickly for the visiting Blue Hens.
Hofstra came out firing on all cylinders, running the score to 7-0 before Delaware could respond with a goal of its own.
But that goal would prove to be the first of many for Delaware, who ran off three more consecutive goals to cut the Pride’s seven-goal lead down to just a 7-4 advantage heading into halftime.
Even after Delaware managed to fight back from that large deficit, Hofstra still looked like it had the game in hand when graduate attacker Lindsay Scott scored her fifth goal of the game – and 47th goal of the season – to give the Pride a 13-10 lead with just 3:33 left in regulation.
But the Blue Hens, who came into Saturday’s contest looking for their first CAA victory, would not go down quietly.
Shannon Hawley scored for the Blue Hens with 1:40 remaining, and then Coley Ricci would make it a 13-12 game with just 51 seconds left.
After winning the ensuing draw control, Delaware called timeout.
“We just told them to buckle down, play sound defense and make sure we were communicating and not fouling at this point,” Smith said about what she told her team coming out of that timeout.
The defense did buckle down, turning away a few attempts from the Blue Hen attackers. Hawley was able to find a gap in the defense, beating Hofstra goalie Alexis Greene with just 12 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Delaware was able to gain possession of the ball to start the overtime period, and Schwartz found the back of the net to win the game under sudden-victory rules.
Greene, who got the start on Saturday after an impressive performance on Friday against Towson, had another solid game in goal with eight saves.
“She was really seeing the ball well today,” Smith said of Greene, who has been locked in a goalie battle all season with freshman Maddie Fields. “She’s been playing really well the last two games.”
In addition to Scott’s superb five-goal performance, freshman Lexi Lenaghan notched the first hat trick of her Hofstra career, setting a new personal-high with three goals.
Drew Shapiro had two goals and Carlee Ancone, Morgan Knox and Jenna Budd each scored for the Pride. Budd’s goal was the first of her career.
With the loss, the Pride drops to 3-10 on the season, with a 1-3 record in the CAA. Delaware improves to 9-6 and breaks into the win column in conference play with a mark of 1-3.
Hofstra returns to action on Friday, April 22, heading over into Suffolk County to take on rival Stony Brook at 7 p.m.