April 30, 2014

Hofstra Erases Early Deficit, Squeezes Past Hens

from press release

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Junior Ryan Rielly and sophomore Sam Llinares each tallied two goals and freshman Kris Clarke won 14 of 18 face-offs to lead the 13th-ranked and top-seed Hofstra Pride to an 8-6 victory over the fourth-seed Delaware Blue Hens in a Colonial Athletic Association Championship semifinal contest at James M. Shuart Stadium Wednesday night.

Hofstra (11-4) will advance to Saturday's CAA Championship game against the winner of Thursday's contest between second-seed Drexel and third-seed Towson. That semifinal game was postponed Wednesday night due to a flooded field in Philadelphia. Delaware ends its season with a 7-9 record.

Rielly, a long-stick midfielder, posted a career-high two goals scoring in the first and third quarters and picking up five ground balls. Llinares, who extended his consecutive game point streak to 28 contests, recorded his sixth multi-goal contest of the year. Clarke posted his best face-off percentage of the season. Junior Mike Malave added a goal and an assist. Junior goalie Chis Selva needed to make only three saves in the Pride cage. Hofstra outshot Delaware, 27-15 and picked up 40 ground balls to the Blue Hens 28.

Delaware was led by freshman Steve DeLargy with two goals and one assist while senior Dan Keane added two goals. Sophomore goalie Conor Peaks made 10 saves in the contest including six in the first half for the Blue Hens.

In a driving rain on Long Island, Hofstra and Delaware split the first four goals with Pride junior Mike Malave scoring his 24th of the season just 1:37 into the contest for a 1-0 Hofstra lead. The Blue Hens tied it seven minutes later on Steve DeLargy's 15th goal. Hofstra long-stick middie Ryan Rielly scored the first of two goals on the night at the 3:40 mark before Keane tied it at 2-2 just 59 seconds before the end of the period.

Delaware took a 4-2 lead into the locker room at halftime with two goals in the second period as Keane notched his second of the game and 27th of the year and Brian Kormondy scored his 17th of the year just before halftime to put the Blue Hens up by two at the break.

The first six minutes of the second half were a flurry of activity with five goals scored. Rielly brought the Pride to within one at 4-3 with his second of the game 16 seconds into the third. But Jeff Heath boosted the Delaware lead back to two with his 14th of the season two minutes later. Hofstra then scored twice in the next 55 seconds as defensive middie John Reicherter, making his first appearance in nine games due to an injury, scored his second goal of the season and Llinares got his 19th of the year, from Malave, to tie the game at 5-5 with 11:23.

Coholan gave Hofstra a 6-5 lead almost two minutes later off a pass from Korey Hendrickson and Lance Yapor scored off a rebound in front with 2:22 to play in the third to give the Pride a 7-5 advantage after three quarters.

DeLargy opened the fourth quarter scoring for Delaware with his second of the game from Tom Holland 3:51 into the period to close the gap to 7-6. But Llinares bumped the lead back to two with his 20th of the season with 8:50 remaining. The Pride defense stopped the Delaware offense the rest of the way to allow Hofstra to advance to their fourth CAA Championship game. The Pride last won the CAA title in 2008, winning at Drexel, 10-9.

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