March 12, 2013 | 1252 views
Hofstra off to promising start
Hofstra junior attack Torin Varn continued his torrid start to the lacrosse season, netting a hat trick in a 10-5 victory over visiting Harvard on March 2 as the Pride won for the third time in four games to start 2013.
Varn, who opened the year with a five-goal performance to lead a win over Sacred Heart, gave Hofstra the lead for good against the Crimson less than five minutes into the third quarter with an unassisted tally that made it 4-3. His hat trick goal, No. 14 on the year, came with 5:47 left in the quarter. Junior midfielder Drew Coholan added two goals, while freshman attack Sam Llinares chipped in a goal and two assists.
“Talent returns, but chemistry doesn’t,” Pride coach Seth Tierney said. “We lost a ton of one-goal games last season, but we brought back a lot of pieces and have a lot of potential.”
Hofstra, which finished 6-8 overall in 2012, with six defeats by one goal including four in overtime, returned seven starters and was ranked No. 17 in the preseason in NCAA Division I. Qualifying for the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, Tierney said, is tops on the team’s radar at this point. “We want to make the CAA Tournament and go from there,” Tierney said. “The conference is loaded with strong teams.”
After ranking 13th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 8.8 goals per game, the Pride has the personnel to be stingy once again. The in-close defense is an experienced group led by fifth-year grad students Mark Mullen and Michael Hamilton, as well as senior Cody Solaja. Mullen, who usually gets the toughest marking assignment, picked up 16 ground balls and had 10 takeaways last season. Hamilton scooped 21 ground balls, while Solaja had 14 grounders and eight takeaways. “They’ll take on anybody back there,” said Tierney, who praised the work of the defense in Hofstra’s 9-2 victory at Fairfield on Feb. 26. Sophomore Jack Moorehead, who missed last season with an injury, is fourth on the defensive depth chart.