Hempstead, NY - The Hofstra Pride begin their 2013 Colonial Athletic Association schedule this Saturday, March 16 when they head south to face the Blue Hens of the University of Delaware. Game time at Delaware Stadium is 1 p.m.
The Pride (4-1), who climbed to 10th in the USILA Division I Coaches Poll and ninth in the Nike-Inside Lacrosse Media Poll this week, are coming off an 8-7 victory at then-second-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame last Saturday. The victory was Hofstra's biggest win since an 8-7 over then #1 Johns Hopkins in 2008.
Seven Pride players scored goals, including two by junior Torin Varn, against the Fighting Irish. Freshman Sam Llinares tallied a goal and an assist and sophomore goalie Chris Selva, who was named the CAA Player of the Week, made 11 saves for his fourth win of the season. Hofstra has now won three consecutive games.
The Pride, who are averaging 9.60 goals per game, are ranked first in scoring defense in Division I allowing just 6.60 goals per contest. Hofstra is taking advantage of their special teams units, ranking fourth in the country in man-down situation allowing just four goals in 20 attempts (.200) and 10th on the man-up, scoring in 10 of 22 opportunities (.455)
Hofstra is led in scoring by Varn with 16 goals. Llinares also has 16 points on nine goals and seven assists while junior Lance Yapor has four goals and five assists. Senior Adrian Sorichetti has chipped in with four goals and four assists. Classmate midfielder John Antoniades leads the team in ground balls with 24 and has won 50 of 91 face-offs for a .549 winning percentage.
Sophomore long-stick midfielder Ryan Rielly has picked up 17 ground balls while graduate-student Mark Mullen anchors the close defense with eight ground balls and two caused turnovers. Selva, who ranks fifth in the nation in goals against average, has a 6.60 GAA and a .577 save percentage.
The Blue Hens of Delaware enter the week with a 2-5 record with wins over High Point (12-10) and Lafayette (11-9). Their losses have come against Bucknell (9-8), Loyola (9-8), Mount St. Mary's (15-12), Villanova (14-9) and Binghamton (9-8).
The Blue Hens, who average 9.71 goals per game while allowing 10.71 per contest, are led in scoring by senior midfielder Nick Diachenko with 16 goals and two assists for 18 points. Senior attackman Eric Smith leads the team in points with 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points while junior midfielder Connor McRoy has nine goals and a team-high 10 assists for 19 points. Sophomore attackman Brian Kormondy has chipped in with nine goals and two assists.
Saturday's game is the 37th meeting in men's lacrosse between Hofstra and Delaware in a series that started in 1951. Hofstra holds a 24-12 series lead over the Blue Hens. The Pride has defeated the Blue Hens in 12 of the last 17 meetings. The Pride and the Blue Hens last met on March 17, 2012 in Hempstead with #19 Hofstra recording a 13-5 victory over #20 Delaware. The Blue Hens downed Hofstra twice in 2011. Delaware topped the Pride, 7-6, on March 19 at Delaware Stadium and 10-9 at Shuart Stadium on May 4 in the CAA semifinals.