NCAA: Parella sets record in Hofstra win over Drexel

19-11 was the score as the Hofstra Pride (11-6, 4-2) defeated the Drexel Dragons (6-10, 1-5) in CAA play on Saturday at Vidas Field, spoiling the Dragons’ final contest and annual senior day. Hofstra now enters the CAA tournament on a two-game winning streak to face Towson in the semi-finals on Friday. They lost a close 13-12 game to the Tigers just two weeks ago.

Against Drexel, junior Alyssa Parella led the first-half attack with four goals and three assists, cutting to the net on Hofstra’s first possession of the game. The Pride built up a 9-0 lead before the Dragons got on the board at the 16:38 mark when Hayleigh Simpson was awarded a free position and went low on Hofstra keeper Jess Smith. Drexel managed two more before the half was up but Hofstra equaled every goal for a 12-3 lead. Parella showed good ball sense on her fourth of the game, holding onto the ball until she’d completed an arc around the goal and was clear of defenders before shooting. It was her 82nd goal of the season, and broke the CAA record for goals in a single season, set in 2004 by Gail Decker of James Madison.

Drexel turned the tables in the second, scoring three straight as they fought to end their season on a winning note. Katie Whelan’s goal at 4:51 provided Hofstra a break but the Dragons came back with four more, having suddenly closed the gap to 13-10. A pair of free position goals by Erin Demek scored less than a minute apart gave Hofstra back the momentum. Drexel only managed one more the rest of the way, while Hofstra piled on four to end the game, including two more from Demek.

Demek led Hofstra with seven goals. Whelan (1G/5A), Jenna Budd (2G/3A) and Camryn Faith (2G) also contributed. Parella was held scoreless in the second half, but her early-game contributions put her at 100 points for the season, the first CAA player to reach that mark since 2004.

Karson Harris had a big effort for Drexel with four goals and one assist. Simpson and Colleen Grady each scored a pair.

Jess Smith made 11 saves for the win, playing the first half before giving way to Sarah Guarascio at halftime. Guarascio played 19 minutes and allowed seven goals before Smith came back in to shut the door. Sigourney Heerink started for Drexel but was replaced by Zoe Bennett after three goals.

Photos by Laura Kupsey. More here.

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