Hofstra men's lacrosse has backs against the wall heading into home stretch of season

Despite the 10th ranked Hofstra men’s lacrosse team’s 18-2 romp of Manhattan College Tuesday night the Pride have their backs pinned against the wall in the home stretch of the season in order to achieve the program's yearly goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament. Last Saturday’s 13-11 loss at Drexel left Hofstra (6-3, 0-2 in Colonial Athletic Association) with no room for a hiccup in the Pride’s final four games that begins this Saturday against Delaware in the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium in the Big City Classic.

“We know that it is still in our hands right now where if we go 3-2 in the conference  then we are going to be in the conference tournament and we don’t have any room for any error,” said Hofstra men’s lacrosse head coach Seth Tierney in the post game press conference after his team’s blowout win over Manhattan at Shuart Stadium before 1,416 fans. “You can’t go 5-0 in your last five games unless you go 1-0 and we accomplished that tonight and now we have to go 1-0 again on Saturday.”

Hofstra currently sits in last place in the six-team CAA with three conference games remaining and only the top four reaching the playoffs for the right to capture league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Since college lacrosse began playing conference tournaments for automatic bids in 2000 Hofstra has never failed to reach the postseason.

Hofstra’s stretch run to try and salvage its season will feature a change in net as sophomore goalie Andrew Gvozden was tapped to replace freshman Rob Bellairs for the Manhattan game and recorded 10 saves. Gvozden has experience under his belt having started Hofstra’s final 13 games as a freshman and leading the Pride to the NCAAs with several close victories.

“It’s his net now,” said Tierney of Gvozden, who had an impressive 8.38 goals against average last season as a freshman. “I look forward to watching him play on Saturday.”

Hofstra will have the unique opportunity to open the brand new home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and Jets in the first game of the Big City Classic tripleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a large crowd anticipated for the stadium’s debut. The other two games will feature North Carolina against Virginia and Syracuse versus Princeton. “There is going to be a lot of people there and we’re certainly excited to be part of it,” said Tierney. 

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