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CAA men’s championship: @DrexelDragons rally past Hofstra, 11-10, in 3 OT

Saturday, 3rd May 2014

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/3/14
From Press Release

Red-shirt freshman Cole Shafer scored his fifth goal of the game 43 seconds into the third overtime off a Jules Raucci (Garnet Valley) feed to lead the second-seed Drexel Dragons to an 11-10 come-from-behind victory over the host Hofstra Pride in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship game at James M. Shuart Stadium Saturday night.

The Dragons, who recorded their first CAA Championship, will advance to their first NCAA Championship Tournament next week with the field of 18 teams to be announced Sunday night at 9 p.m. Drexel is 12-4 on the year.

In addition to Shafer’s five goals, Nick Trizano tallied three goals and Ryan Belka added two goals and one assist for Drexel. Ben McIntosh added a goal and four assists and was named the Championship Most Outstanding Player. Shafer, Belka and Trizano were also named to the CAA All-Championship team.

Raucci had possession behind the cage on the left side after each team committed a turnover in the first minute of the third extra frame. He fed Shafer, who rocketed the game-winner from 12 yards out on the left side from down low to high off the pipe past Chris Selva 1:33 into the final session.

The Dragons’ chances for their first title seemed remote after the Pride (11-5) went up 10-7 on a Mike Malave goal with five minutes remaining in regulation. However, Drexel’s comeback started right away as Nick Saputo won the face-off and :27 seconds later, Ben McIntosh found Shafer to cut the margin to two.

A little more than a minute later, senior Nick Trizano came from behind the net and scored an unassisted goal, giving life to the Drexel bench. The Dragons stunned the fans at James M. Shuart Stadium by tying the game with 2:45 to play on a Ryan Belka score which made it 10 apiece.

Both teams thought they had the game won in overtime, only to have to keep on playing after being denied. The Pride appeared to score the game-winner in the first overtime period, but an illegal pick negated the goal. In the second overtime, Shafer fired a shot that hit the netting on the side, The Drexel bench erupted thinki

Hofstra, which is 11-5 on the season, will have to wait until Sunday night to find out if the Pride will receive their 18th bid to the NCAA Championship this year as an at-large team. Senior attacker Torin Varn scored four goals and tallied an assist and fellow senior attacker Lance Yapor and junior midfielder Mike Malave both posted two goals and one assist for the Pride. Varn, Malave and junior Ryan Rielly were all named to the CAA All-Championship team.

Both defenses stood tall in the three overtime periods. The Pride came out strong in the first overtime period, generating four shots to Drexel’s one. Hofstra then recorded the only shot-on-goal in the second overtime on senior midfielder Drew Coholan’s shot.

But Drexel goalie Will Gabrielsen made one of his 13 saves to send the contest to the third overtime. The contest marked the longest game in Hofstra’s CAA Tournament history. It was also the second three-overtime contest that Hofstra and Drexel have played at James M. Shuart Stadium in the past two seasons after an 8-7 Drexel victory in 2013.

Early on in the contest it didn’t look like it would be a high-scoring affair. After the first quarter ended in a 2-2 tie, Shafter and Trizano sandwiched a Drew Coholan goal in the second to take a 4-3 lead at halftime. Gabrielsen made nine of his 13 saves for Drexel in the first half while Hofstra junior goalie Chris Selva making six of his 10 stops in the first 30 minutes.

Shafer scored his third of the game 1:37 into the third to boost the Dragon lead to 5-3. But Hofstra went on a five-goal run in the rest of the period with Malave and Llinares scoring the first two and Varn posting the next three to give the Pride an 8-5 lead at the end of three quarters.

Belka and McIntosh scored for Drexel in the first 7:21 of the fourth to close to 8-7. But Hofstra responded with goals from Yapor and Malave to boost the lead to 10-7 with 5:00 to play setting up the Drexel comeback.

Hofstra outshot Drexel, 38-35 and picked up 35 ground balls to the Dragons 34.

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