Hofstra women's lacrosse gearing up for CAA Tournament

One of Hofstra women’s lacrosse head coach Abby Morgan’s chief goals for the 2010 season was to qualify her team for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament, something the Pride just missed out on the last two years after winning the conference title in 2007. That mission has been accomplished and now attention has turned to making the NCAA Tournament by winning the CAAs next week.

Sixteen ranked Hofstra (11-5, 5-2 in CAA) will be the three seed and be matched up against eighth ranked Towson on Thursday May 6 at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. A win by Hofstra Thursday would send the Pride to the CAA title game  on Saturday May 8 against either seventh ranked James Madison or William & Mary with an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament at stake.

After Hofstra ended its non-conference slate with a 14-13 overtime loss at 11th ranked Stanford, its third one goal defeat to a highly ranked team this year, Morgan instilled the importance of approaching one game at a time once conference play got underway. This plan worked to perfection as Hofstra posted convincing wins over William & Mary, Old Dominion, Delaware and Drexel with the only two conference setbacks coming to James Madison and Towson.

“You can’t look forward because you never know what is going to happen,” said Morgan of her team’s tight mental focus during conference play. “We have had a good plan for what our path is.” 

James Madison’s home field has a thick grass that proved to be tough on Hofstra’s legs when the Pride fell to the Dukes 14-8 on April 18. To prepare for the challenging surface Morgan has been conducting practices on the former football grass practice fields rather than in Shuart Stadium.

The Hofstra-Towson CAA semifinal game will be a rematch of a hard fought 9-7 Tigers win over the Pride on April 25. Towson’s leading scorer Hillary Fratzke tallied three goals to rally the Tigers from a 6-4 second half deficit. Morgan said a key reason why Hofstra lost that game was an inability to finish some close scoring chances. Towson was also effective in slowing down the tempo so Morgan has been working in practices on a transition game that can attack Towson's stingy defense.

“It is still fresh in their minds,” said Morgan of the Towson loss. “We want to make sure a team doesn’t take us out of something that we are good at.”

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