One of the major uncertainties coming into the 2010 Hofstra men’s lacrosse season was who would start in goal and that question may have been answered in the Pride’s second game on Saturday afternoon against 19th-ranked Brown. In his first career start freshman Rob Bellairs posted seven saves to help 12th ranked Hofstra (1-1) to a 15-12 win over Brown (0-1) and head coach Seth Tierney is planning to start the Plainedge High School product in next week’s big matchup against Johns Hopkins.
“He earned the starting job in our coaching staff’s eyes,” said Tierney in the post game press conference following Hofstra’s home opener win over Brown before 2,234 fans at Shuart Stadium. “Barring anything crazy that happens this week Rob Bellairs will start against Hopkins.”
Bellairs, who earned All American honors his senior year of high school, has won the right to start in net early in the 2010 season over sophomore Andrew Gvozden, who as a freshman posted an 8.38 goals against average in 13 games. Against Brown Bellairs made some key early saves to help hold the Bears to only three goals in the first half.
Hofstra’s defense in front of Bellairs improved tremendously from last week’s 17-14 loss at Princeton by forcing 18 Brown turnovers. The Hofstra offense was the big star of the game though with nine different scorers led by three goals from junior attackman Stephen Bentz and two tallies each from midfielders Brad Loizeaux, Mike DeNapoli, Adrian Sorichetti and Steve DeNapoli. With Hofstra dynamic Canadian attack duo of Jay Card and Jamie Lincoln being held to a goal apiece, having others step up on offense was vital for the Pride to post the huge victory.
Also stepping up large against Brown was freshman faceoff specialist John Antoniades, who won 16 of the 29 draws including six of eight in the second quarter. With senior faceoff specialist Mike Vaccaro going down with a season-ending ACL tear at Princeton last week, Antoniades will be playing a major role for the Pride in his first season of college lacrosse.
Hofstra returns to action on Saturday March 13 against fifth-ranked Johns Hopkins under the lights at Shuart Stadium starting at 7 p.m. The Blue Jays have lost their last two games at Hofstra in 2006 and 2008 and Tierney is expecting his team to have a major battle on their hands.
“They’ll be prepared and so will we,” said Tierney. “We’ve got to have a relentless effort.”