- The ninth-ranked Hofstra Men's Lacrosse
team will begin its 63rd season of competition this afternoon (Tuesday, February 15) when
the Pride host the Raiders of Colgate University at James M. Shuart Stadium.
Game time is 4 p.m.
Hofstra Head Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney begins his fifth season as the Pride mentor and enters the 2011 season ranked ninth in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division I Preseason Poll and 10th in the Nike-Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll. The Pride return 31 players, including eight starters, from last year's 9-5 team that received their third consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament bid and their 16th overall.
Hofstra is expected to have one of the most potent offenses in Division I this season with the return of players who accounted for 167 of its 181 goals a year ago, including 10 of the top 11 scorers. The Pride return all three starting attackmen led by the senior All-American honorable mentions Jay Card (Caledon, ON, Canada) and Jamie Lincoln (St. Catharines, ON, Canada), and senior Stephen Bentz (Massapequa, NY). Card, who was also named to the All-CAA first team for the second straight year, tallied 31 goals and 22 assists in 2010. He was ably assisted on the attack last season by fellow countryman, Jamie Lincoln , who tallied a team-high 33 goals and tied Card with 53 points. The Denver-transfer was named to the All-CAA second team last season. Stephen Bentz is coming off the best season of his career with 29 goals and 12 assists.
Pride midfield is the deepest and most talented of Tierney's tenure. The
starting first midfield on Tuesday will display graduate-student
(Rockville Centre, NY) along with junior returning starters
(Mullica Hill, NJ) and
(Floral Park, NY). Serling, a graduate of
Lafayette College and the Patriot League's Offensive Player of the Year in
2010, tallied 37 goals and 12 assists for the Leopards last season. Loizeaux,
an All-CAA first team pick, tallied 19 goals and 11 assists in 2010 while Ford,
who got a late start to the 2010 season while recovering from a foot injury,
added 15 goals and 6 assists in just seven games.
Look for sophomores Adrian Sorichetti (Whitby, ON, Canada), an All-CAA Rookie Team selection who tallied nine goals and six assists last season, Aaron Jones (Fairport, NY), who posted six goals and three assists, and Ian Braddish (West Islip, NY), a former high school All-American at West Islip (NY) High School and a transfer from the University of North Carolina.
At the long-stick spot, senior Adam Mojica (Springfield, PA) returns to a starting role after playing in all 14 games last season. Mojica, an All-CAA second team selection who recorded 32 ground balls and forced 11 turnovers as a junior, could also see time at close defense as well. At the short-stick defensive middie spot, the Pride will have two experienced seniors manning the position in Steven DeNapoli (Hewlett, NY) and Tim Holman (Garden City, NY). DeNapoli, who posted a team-high 49 ground balls to go with his four goals and three assists last year, has not missed a game during his Hofstra career and ranked 57th in the country in ground balls per game. Holman (Garden City, NY) also played in 14 games last season and picked up 32 ground balls to go with his two goals and three assists.
The Pride made a dramatic improvement at the face-off X last season, jumping from 47 percent in 2009 to 55 percent in 2010. Sophomore All-CAA Rookie team pick John Antoniades (Hauppauge, NY), who was thrust into the starting line-up when starter Mike Vaccaro (Plano, TX) was injured in the season opener against Princeton, could get the opening day start after a fierce preseason battle. He took all but 21 face-offs last year and won 55% of his face-offs to place 23rd in Division I.
On defense, the Pride returns two of their three starter in senior captain and All-CAA second team selection Mike Skudin (Long Beach, NY), who picked up 29 ground balls last year, and sophomore Cody Solaja (Dallas, TX), another All-CAA Rookie team selection, who started in 12 of his 13 games as a freshman. Sophomore Mark Mullen (Harleysville, PA), who saw action in 13 games last season, will be the third defender on opening day with redshirt freshman Corey Caputo (Stamford, CT), a two-time All-Connecticut selection at Darien High School, and sophomore Michael Hamilton (Brighton, MI) coming off the bench.
Junior Andrew Gvozden (Millersville, MD) has won the starting job in goal outright this season, beating out sophomore Rob Bellairs (North Massapequa, NY) and freshman Nate Roy (Essex, CT). Gvozden played in 10 games and started seven with a 4-2 record and a 9.30 goals against average last year.
The Colgate Raiders,
who are coming off a 3-10 record in 2010, enter their 90th season in program
history. They were picked to finish fourth behind No. 12 Army, Navy and
Bucknell in the 2011 Patriot League Preseason Poll. Colgate returns 30 letterwinners
from last season including its top three point leaders in senior attackman Ben McCabe
sophomore midfielder Peter Baum
) and junior attackman
(12-12-24). In goal, the team returns junior who played in 11 of the 13 games last season and started nine. Madison
completed the season with an 8.65 goals against average, making a total of 103
saves for a .569 save percentage.
Tuesday's game will be just the third meeting between Hofstra and Colgate and the first in 50 seasons. The Pride defeated the Raiders 9-6 in 1960 and 7-4 in 1961.