Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/22/14
Maybe it was fitting that Hofstra would get to take home the Nick Colleluori Trophy after defeating host Drexel, 11-9, tonight in the inaugural HEADstrong Hero Bowl at Vidas Field.
Hofstra senior Drew Coholan scored three straight goals to help Hofstra break an 8-8 tie and claim the win in honor of the most famous member of the Pride, Nick Colleluori.
Tonight’s game was played to help promote blood cancer awareness and advance the mission of the HEADstrong Foundation™. It came a day after the fourth annual HEADstrong Gala, where it was announced that the Foundation has raised more than $5 million in the fight against blood cancer – Nick’s dream as he fought Non-Hodgin’s Lymphoma before passing away in 2006.
Coholan (five goals) put his team ahead with 7:31 to play and added two more in the next 5:25 to make it 11-8.
Drexel fell to 4-4 and 0-1 in the CAA.
“It’s always tough playing against Drexel,” Coholan said. “We had a little revenge factor coming in this year. They beat us on our home field last year, so that was what we had to raise all week.
“It was a HEADstrong, Relentless thing going on today, so obviously we always think of Nick [Colleluori] in the back of our minds when we’re playing.”
Drexel kept things close throughout, never trailing by more than four goals. However, the Dragons, who took down Hofstra in their last meeting, 8-7, on March 23 of last year in a triple overtime game, were unable to take a single lead Saturday. With the win, the Pride now lead the all-time series 22-5.
“The loss is tough but I think we should be starting to get it together,” said Drexel sophomore Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley), who scored a first-half goal and added an assist. “I think we’ll be alright.
“It’s just the start of the CAA. We’ve got a lot of the season left. We hope to be at the top. We’ll see though. We’ve got the talent to be at the top. We’ve just got to put it together.”
Hofstra came into the inaugural Hero Bowl with something to prove — the Pride are just outside of the most recent USILA rankings. But, in many ways, the game means a lot more than just a win to Hofstra and head coach Seth Tierney.
“Drexel’s a wonderful team, they’re very well coached,” he said, “Then you throw the HEADstrong thing on top of it.
“That really hits home with us, losing Nick a few years back. So there’s a lot of emotion in there and I’m glad that our name is on that trophy first.”
Greatly contributing to the important conference win for Hofstra were Lance Yapor (two goals, two assists), Torin Varn (two goals) and Sam Llinares (one goal, three assists).
“It’s obviously a huge win in the CAA,” Llinares said. “Drexel’s a very, very good opponent and just an overall team win. Drew Coholan had an unbelievable game and our defense and [goalie] Chris Selva played their hearts out.
“It’s a huge game and this event, it means everything. I’m just happy to be a part of it and it’s a privilege to play Hofstra lacrosse and having the chance to represent the HEADstrong foundation and just an overall huge win.”
Selva came up with some huge stops, especially down the stretch, and finished with 13 saves. Drexel’s Nick Saputo took the faceoff battle, winning 16 of 24 attempts.