Hofstra Looks to Contend in CAA

Going into their last regular season game versus Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rivals Penn State; the Hofstra Pride needed a win of their own as well as a win by St. Joseph’s to gain a berth in their conference tournament. However, the game ended in a similar fashion as several others in Hofstra’s 2012 season, an overtime loss. This loss officially ended the season for the Pride, leaving them 6-8 overall with a 2-4 conference record. It was also the fourth time Hofstra had needed extra time to settle a game, 3 out of the 4 requiring multiple overtime periods, with each resulting in an overtime loss.

Out of the 4 conference losses of 2012, 2 were lost in overtime (Penn State and Towson), while the other pair were both single goal decisions (Drexel and UMass). After witnessing so many close games result in heartbreak, the Pride will look to use these experiences as motivation and return to the CAA tournament in 2013.

The bitter memories of last season’s agonizing losses will be prevalent in the minds of Hofstra’s 28 returning players, of which includes 8 starters from last season. Adrian Sorichetti will look to be the squad’s top gun again this year. The senior midfielder from Whitby, Ontario led the Pride in scoring last season with 24 goals and 14 assists for 38 points, earning him first team All-CAA honors.

With Steve Sterling gone, Hofstra will need additional midfield production to support Sorichetti. Looking to step up at middie is sophomore Mike Malave, whose 11 point 2012 campaign gained him a spot on the CAA All-Rookie Team. Seniors Ian Braddish and Aaron Jones will also have a great opportunity to step up in Serling’s absence.

The attack unit for the Pride will be led by junior Lance Yapor. Yapor posted 25 goals and 8 assists for 33 points last season, good for second in team scoring. Re-joining Yapor will be All-CAA Rookie Team honoree Tyler Begley, who posted 10 goals and 7 assists in his first season.

With 30-plus point producer Mike Denapoli lost to graduation, junior Torin Varn and sophomore Tyler Johnston will be looked at to play a larger role in the attack unit. Freshman Sam Linares is an All-American recruit that has a viable chance to push for a starting position.

Senior defender Mark Mullen, second team All-CAA in 2012, will anchor Hofstra’s defense. Mullen will be joined by returning starters graduate student Michael Hamilton and senior Cody Solaja. Redshirt junior Corey Caputo is also a defensive returnee who saw starting time last season. Competing to replace Andrew Gvozden between the pipes are seniors Ryan Brant and Rob Bellairs, as well as sophomore Chris Selva. Apart from the 3:33 of time that Selva saw last year, in which he made 0 saves on 1 shot faced, Gvozden played the entirety of the 2012 season and will be a tremendous hole to fill.

Last season was a disappointment for the Hofstra Pride. With four conference losses all by one goal, returning veterans remember the subtle differences that wound up being the difference between qualifying for the conference tournament and being on the outside looking in. With such a harsh aftertaste still in the mouth of many associated with Pride lacrosse, Hofstra will look to rebound for a successful 2013 campaign.