April 30, 2011

Hofstra Beats PSU for CAA's Top Seed

from press release

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Sophomore Ian Braddish tallied three goals and one assist and junior goalie Andrew Gvozden tied his career-high with 17 saves to lead the eighth-ranked Hofstra Pride to a 9-4 victory over No. 20 Penn State at James M. Shuart Stadium Saturday night.

The victory gave the Pride (13-1, 5-1) the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title and the number one seed in the CAA Championship tournament that begins with semifinal play this Wednesday, May 4. #1 Hofstra will host #4 Delaware (9-6, 4-2) while #2 Penn State (7-6, 4-2) will host #3 Massachusetts (9-4, 4-2). Both games are 7 p.m. starts. The winners meet in the title game at the site of the higher seed on Saturday, May 7.

Braddish continued his torrid streak with four points in the game to record his seventh consecutive contest with three points or more. He has 10 goals and 13 assists over his last seven outings. Gvozden, the national leader in goals against average, equaled his career high with 17 saves, tying his 2009 mark against Army. The Pride also received two goals from sophomore Adrian Sorichetti and senior Stephen Bentz . Bentz extended his consecutive game point and goal streaks to 29 and 16, respectively.

The Nittany Lions were led by Gavin Ahern with two goals while Shane Sturgis and Tom LaCrosse each scored once. Freshman goalie Austin Kaut, the national leader in save percentage coming into the contest, made eight saves in the Penn State cage.

Penn State jumped out to the early lead and led 2-1 after one quarter. Sturgis opened the scoring 1:25 into the contest, coming around the cage following a pass from Colton Vosburgh and netting his 17th goal of the year. Braddish tied the game with 4:15 to play in the period on a run up the middle and a bullet from 10 yards. But freshman Tom LaCrosse, nephew of former Hofstra great Michael LaCrosse, gave the Nittany Lions a 2-1 lead on a falling down shot from seven yards with 1:25 remaining in the first quarter.

Hofstra started a five-goal run in the second quarter as Braddish notched his second of the game and 15th of the year on a dodge and weave that put him five yards in front of the goal to knot the game at 2-2 with 10:36 to play in the half. Junior Michael DeNapoli scored a man-up goal from 12 yards off a pass from Jay Card 71 seconds later to give the Pride a 3-2 lead at halftime

The Pride scored the first three goals of the third quarter as junior Kevin Ford scored a man-up goal from Jamie Lincoln 3:39 into the quarter, and Braddish notched his third goal on another charge and dodge to the goal 45 seconds later for a 5-2 lead. Sorichetti closed out the run with his 10th goal of the season, on a bullet from 12 yards, with 8:01 to play in the third. Ahern scored the first of his two goals, from in front,  four minutes later to close the Penn State deficit to 6-3 after three quarters.

Hofstra put the game out of reach with three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter despite heavy pressure from Penn State. The Nittany Lions outshot the Pride, 16-9 in the quarter only to be snuffed out by Gvozden, who made eight of his 17 saves in the fourth. Bentz opened the scoring in the fourth with his 22nd of the season, on a pass to the crease from Ford, 1:16 into the period. Sorichetti notched his second of the game and 11th of the year six minutes later on a charge to the cage, and Bentz notched his second, from Braddish, with 6:06 to play to boost the lead to 9-3. Ahern closed out the scoring in the game for Penn State with a man-up goal, from Kyle Vanthof, with 2:16 to play in the contest.

Penn State outshot the Pride, 41-32 while the ground balls were even at 22 for each team.

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