After clinching the number one seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament with an 11-6 victory over the University of Massachusetts, number 12 Hofstra will finish out regular season play against Penn State University this Saturday.
Looking at the numbers for the matchup, Hofstra has scored 9.85 goals per game while Penn State has scored 10.50 gpg. Hofstra’s scoring defense is ranked 12th in the nation (8.46 gpg) and Penn State is ranked 21st(9.08 gpg).
Hofstra (10-3, 4-0 CAA) is coming off of a victory against UMass that secured the home advantage and number one spot for the Pride in the conference tournament. Hofstra was led in scoring by junior Mike Malave with five goals against the Minutemen. Freshman Kris Clarke had a strong day at the x winning 15-of-21 faceoffs for the Pride. Junior goalie Chris Selva stopped eight of UMass’s shots en route to the win.
Hofstra’s overall leader in scoring is sophomore Sam Llinares with 46 points (18G, 28A). Selva has a .513 save percentage in net and an 8.36 goals against average for the Pride.
Penn State (6-6, 2-2 CAA) defeated conference foe, University of Delaware, 10-6 this past Saturday. The Nittany Lions were led in scoring by senior Shane Strugis with four goals and two assists, his first six-point game since PSU played Denver on March 10. The win marked the first time the Nittany Lions won back-to-back games since March 1. At x, red-shirt freshman Drake Kreinz won 8-of-19 face-offs for PSU. Senior goalie Austin Kaut made 14 saves in net against the Blue Hens.
Sturgis leads the Nittany Lions in scoring with 47 points (30 G, 17 A). It will be a battle of the freshman as Clarke and Kreinz face-off at X. Clarke has a .545 faceoff winning percentage for the Pride while Kreinz has won .618 of his faceoffs on the year. Kaut, named to the 2014 Tewaaraton Watch list, has a .548 save percentage and has an 8.79 goals against average.
The last time Hofstra and Penn State met, the Pride ended its season on a low note with a 16-7 loss to the Nittany Lions. It was PSU’s ninth straight win as they looked like this years Pride with a perfect CAA record to end the regular season and enter the tournament as the number one seed. Hofstra’s Lance Yapor led the Pride with two goals while Llinares had a goal and an assist. Selva, the number three goalie in the nation at the time, allowed 12 goals and made three saves. Penn State had an eight goal third period to give the Nittany Lions the edge to end the season strong going into the tournament.
PSU is ineligible for the 2014 CAA tournament, the programs last season in the conference, after a vote by the CAA athletic directors. The Nittany Lions men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are set to join the Big Ten Conference in 2015. Last year, the Nittany Lions won the CAA regular season title with a 6-0 record in conference and lost to Towson 11-10 in the championship final.
Both teams will match up this Saturday in University Park, PA at noon.