Junior Mike Malave had another strong outing for Hofstra as he led the Pride to an 11-6 victory over Colonial Athletic Association rivals, the University of Massachusetts, while also helping the 12th-ranked Pride secure the number one seed in the CAA championship tournament.
“After you come off of an emotional win like Cornell, UMass is probably our best opponent, they’re really one of those teams that gets us going,” Head Coach Seth Tierney said.
With the win, the Pride improves to 10-3 overall, 4-0 in the CAA and clinches the number one spot in the post-season tournament. Malave was a top performer again for Hofstra with career-best five goals, including the game-winning goal with 10:46 left to go in the second.
“He’s been shooting the ball real well right now and he’s done a good job finishing his opportunities…he’s had a pretty good two weeks right now,” Coach Tierney said about Malave.
Along with Malave, Sam Llinares scored two goals for the Pride and added three assists. Torin Varn added two goals and one assist while Drew Coholan had two assists to help the Pride earn the win. Chris Selva made eight saves in net for the Pride while UMass sophomore goalie Zach Oliveri stopped 15 for the Minutemen.
Hofstra freshman Kris Clarke was another prevalent piece to the puzzle on Saturday as he won 15-of-21 face-offs against UMass senior Joe Calvello, who entered the game ranked 15th in the nation with a .604 face-off percentage, limiting him to just 4-of-16 face-off wins.
After a 3-0 run for Hofstra to open play at [field], the Minutemen got themselves on the board with goals from Gianni Bianchin, Rob Lynott and Jeff George in the first. George’s goal with 00:15 seconds remaining cut the Minutemen deficit to just one as UMass trailed 4-3 at the end of the quarter.
At the beginning of the second, Grant Whiteway knotted the CAA rivals up 4-4 at the 3:30 mark off of an assist from freshman Nick Mariano. Less than a minute later Coholan assisted Malave’s hat trick to give the Pride the 5-4 lead. Hofstra went into the break leading 7-5.
To start the second half, both teams had a quiet third quarter. Malave broke the scoring drought for both teams with his fifth of the game and UMass’s Brendan Schroeder beat Chris Selva with just 00:23 seconds left to go in the quarter to cut the Pride lead to just two, 8-6.
After Schroeder’s goal, UMass did not score again as the Pride scored three goals from sophomore Korey Hendrickson, Llinares and senior Lance Yapor to secure the 11-6 win and number one seed.
Hofstra outshot the Minutemen 38-25 on the day. The Pride picked up 30 ground balls to UMass’s 21. Both teams capitalized on one extra-man opportunity but Hofstra had six chances with the man-up to UMass’s two.
“They stood strong, they played together,” Coach Tierney said about his teams play against UMass.
The Pride will finish out the regular season in Happy Valley next Saturday to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.