April 26, 2014

Hofstra Stifles Drexel to Earn CAA Playoff Berth

from press release

PHILADELPHIA – Junior goalie Kelsey Gregerson led a strong defensive effort for Hofstra as she made 11 saves in net to lead the Pride women’s lacrosse team to a 10-2 victory over Drexel on Saturday afternoon at Vidas Field.

The win came in the regular season finale for Hofstra and earned the Pride a berth in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship, to be held next weekend in Williamsburg, VA on the campus of the College of William & Mary. Hofstra will take on top-seeded Towson in the semifinals, while James Madison and Delaware make up the rest of the field.

Senior midfielder Jenn Ward led Hofstra with three goals, marking a new season-high and tying her career-high in that category. As has been the case all season, junior defender April Iannetta left her mark in both ends of the field as she contributed three points on two goals and an assist, while also adding three draw controls, three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers.

With her 61 draw controls this season, Iannetta is now tied for the single season record. Corrine Gandolfi set the mark back in 2010. Junior attacker Brittain Altomare is right behind her on the single season list as she has 60 after picking up one today. Altomare led Hofstra with four points on two goals and two assists in the win.

The two goals allowed marked the fewest a Hofstra team has allowed since March 1, 2003 in a 17-2 win over Holy Cross.

The win improves Hofstra’s record to 8-9 overall this season and 2-3 in conference play. Drexel falls to 6-10 and 1-4 in league action. Hofstra has now won at least eight games in 16 of its last 20 seasons.

The win was also Hofstra’s 21st straight over Drexel dating back to the 1993 season.

An impressive first half by Hofstra would see the Pride dominate in all facets and hold a 5-0 lead at the break. Gregerson was tremendous in the opening 30 minutes as she posted six saves to keep the Dragons off the scoreboard, while Iannetta led Hofstra in the field with two goals, two ground balls, two caused turnovers and two draw controls in the first half.

Sophomore defender Lindsey Alfano opened the scoring for Hofstra at the 21:42 mark off an assist from Altomare before the game saw over seven minutes of scoreless time. Iannetta would put Hofstra up 2-0 with her first of the game at the 14:05 mark and it would start a trend of Iannetta and Ward alternating goals the remainder of the half. Ward would score twice in the final 12 minutes of the half, including the final tally of the opening stanza with 50 seconds remaining.

Drexel would begin to mount a comeback at the start of the second half as goals from Kelly Palace and Lizzy Carr would make it 5-2 in favor of the Pride with just over 17 minutes to play in regulation.

Senior midfielder Alexandra Mezzanotte would score a much-needed goal for Hofstra with 15:06 to play in the second stanza, though, and extend the Pride’s lead to four goals with the clocking winding down.

Hofstra would begin to pull away as the Pride answered Drexel’s two goal run to start the half with five of their own to push the advantage to eight goals at 10-2. Included in that run was an Altomare goal, the Pride’s ninth of the game, which came off an assist from senior defender Emily Corzel.

Gregerson added a team-best six ground balls for the Pride, while senior attacker Lindsay McKinnon had a goal and two assists for Hofstra.

Teresha Bradley had four saves in net for Drexel and picked up a trio of ground balls. Amanda Norcini added two caused turnovers, three ground balls and an assist in the game for the Dragons.

Hofstra will be making its eighth appearance in the CAA Championship next weekend. The Pride won its only CAA title in 2007. Hofstra has made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including 2001 as winners of the America East Conference and then again in 2007.

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