LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 2/17/12
From Press Release
The 14th-ranked Hofstra Men’s Lacrosse team will begins its 64th season of competition this Saturday when the Pride host the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University at James M. Shuart Stadium. Game time is 12:30 p.m.
Hofstra Head Lacrosse Coach Seth Tierney begins his sixth season as the Pride mentor and enters the 2012 season ranked 14th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division I Preseason Coaches Poll and 12th in the Nike-Inside Lacrosse Preseason Media Poll. The Pride return 26 players, including four starters, from last year’s 13-3 team that received a school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament bid and their 17th overall.
After losing the starting attack, the defensive midfield, two midfielders and a starting defender to graduation, Tierney and staff have been busy since the fall season filling the holes and looking for the right chemistry. But he is quick to point out that the Pride are solid up the middle of the field with the return of senior goalie Andrew Gvozden and junior face-off specialist John Antoniades. Gvozden, a USILA All-America honorable mention, led the nation in goals against average (6.00 GAA) and was third in save percentage (.602). Antoniades, one of four All-America honorable mentions last season, ranked fifth in Division I in face-off winning percentage (.642) and 20th in ground balls (5.25/gm).
While the Pride lost just one starter at close defense to graduation, he was a good one in CAA Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Skudin. But Hofstra will start the year looking at a four-man rotation with two returning starters in junior Cody Solaja (15 starts in 2011) and redshirt sophomore Cory Caputo (14 starts) as well as juniors Mark Mullen (16 games played) and Michael Hamilton.
The midfield is the deepest segment on the team and will feature the return one starter on the first midfield in junior Ian Braddish and red-shirt graduate student Steve Serling, who would have been a starter if not for a season-ending injury early in the season. Braddish was fourth on the team in scoring last season with 16 goals and 17 assists while Serling had three goals and six assists in just four games. Junior Adrian Sorichetti, who was sixth on the team in goals last year, is expected to be the third man on the first midfield. The Pride took a preseason hit at midfield when Tierney announced this week that senior Brad Loizeaux will be red-shirted after suffering a knee injury last summer.
The defensive midfield will be totally revamped following the graduation of Steve DeNapoli, Tim Holman and Adam Mojica. Look for senior Cole Koesterer, who played in all 16 games last season, and freshman Ryan Rielly, a high school All-America honorable mention from John Glenn High School, to man the poles while sophomores A.J. Leary and Anthony Zappone and freshmen Steve Romano and Korey Hendrickson will have the short-sticks.
After the graduation of All-America honorable mentions Jay Card and Jamie Lincoln as well as Stephen Bentz, who combined for 81 goals and 42 assists in 2011, the attack “will be very different than the past two years”, according to Tierney. He expects to use a rotation of four attackmen to start the season. Senior Mike DeNapoli, played in 13 games last season and recorded five goals and five assists. Junior Drew Coholan posted two goals and two assists in the five games that he played before suffering a season-ending injury. Those two are expected to be joined by sophomores Torin Varn, who posted three goals and one assist in 13 games last year, and Lance Yapor, who tallied two goals and three assists in six games in 2011.
The Pioneers of Sacred Heart University, who play in the Northeast Conference, are coming off a 4-9 season, including a 1-4 mark in the NEC, in 2011. The Pioneers return eight starters from last year’s squad led by sophomore attackman Mike Mawdsley, who tallied 28 goals and 10 assists as a freshman. Classmate attackman Cody Marquis added five goals and 12 assists last season while sophomore Alex Miller posted five goals and nine assists. Junior midfielder Stephen Kontos won 149 of 276 face-offs (53.9%) and picked up 68 ground balls. Graduate-student Zach Frank tends the goal for the Pioneers after recording 156 saves and posting an 11.79 goals against average in 2011.
Hofstra and Sacred Heart met last season in Fairfield, Connecticut with the Pride posting a 10-6 victory. In that game, Serling tallied three goals and four assists and attackman Stephen Bentz added three goals and one assist to lead #9 Hofstra. Serling scored two of his goals and three of his assists in the second half to lead the Pride’s second half charge after a 3-3 tie through the first 30 minutes. Bentz also tallied two goals and one assist in the second half for Hofstra. Junior Matt King led the Pioneers with two goals while sophomore Bryan Badolato added two assists.
Tickets for the Sacred Heart contest, as well as season tickets, can be purchased at the Mack Sports Complex Ticket Office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone by calling (516) 463-TIXX (8499) during normal business hours, or online at GoHofstra.com