Byrne Lifts Hofstra to OT Win Over Princeton
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Josh Byrne and the Hofstra Pride are quickly making a name for themselves.
Byrne, a transfer from Nassau Community College, scored his fifth goal just 14 seconds into overtime on Saturday to give 11th-ranked Hofstra an 11-10 victory over the Princeton Tigers at James M. Shuart Stadium.
The win gives Hofstra a 2-0 start to the season after opening with a 10-5 win at North Carolina. Byrne tallied four goals and two assists last week.
This time, Byrne scored the game-winner off a pass from sophomore pole Tanner Griffin, blasting an eight-yard shot past Princeton goalie Tyler Blaisdell. The winning sequence began with Hofstra winning the overtime faceoff and Pride sophomore Brenden Lynch scooping up the loose ball and passing to Griffin.
"To get a win like this I can't tell you how important this is," Hofstra coach Seth Tierney told Lax Sports Network, which broadcast the game, right after Byrne's winner. "The North Carolina win was huge, but to gut one out in overtime against an unbelievably talented Princeton team, I hope this will pay dividends down the road."
Byrne now has nine goals and two assists in two outings. The Tigers (1-1) outshot Hofstra 32-26 but Hofstra picked up 45 ground balls to Princeton's 28. Hofstra ended a four-game losing streak against Princeton.
Hofstra senior Brian von Bargen tallied two key fourth quarter goals, the first which gave the Pride an 8-7 lead just 56 seconds into the final period of regulation, and the second which gave Hofstra a 10-8 advantage.
Senior Sam Llinares added a goal and an assist while junior middie Kris Clarke won 15 of 25 faceoffs, picked up 11 ground balls and added an assist for Hofstra. Senior defenseman Finn Sullivan picked up nine ground balls on the back line for the Pride.
Not to be lost in the victory was the play of the Pride defense, especially sophomore goalie Jack Concannon, who recorded a career-best 15 saves, including nine in the first half which allowed the Pride to recover from an early 3-0 deficit.
Princeton was led by senior Ryan Ambler, who notched two goals and four assists while junior Gavin McBride added three goals, including the goal that tied the contest at 10-all with 3:41 to play in regulation, and one assist. Senior Bobby Weaver added two goals for the Tigers. Junior Zach Currier won five of nine faceoffs, caused four turnovers and picked up 11 ground balls.
The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 4:17 as Dawson McKenzie, Austin Sims and Ambler dented the twine. But Hofstra answered with three straight goals by junior Trevor Kupecky, senior Korey Hendrickson and Byrne to tie the game after one quarter.
Princeton came out fast again in the second quarter, as Riley Thompson and McBride scored in the first 2:49 to gain a 5-3 lead. Byrne scored his second of the game on the run to the goal less than a minute later for Hofstra but Weaver put the Tigers up two at 6-4 with a goal with 4:39 to play in the half. Byrne may have tallied his second-most important goal of the contest with 20 seconds remaining in the second after coming around the cage to close the gap to 6-5 at halftime.
Alderman tied the game at 6-6 for Hofstra on a runner just 4:11 into the third quarter. But Princeton answered with an over-the-shoulder shot by Ambler with 6:49 to play in the period. The lead was short-lived as Llinares tied the game just nine seconds later off a pass from Clarke and the quarter ended tied at 7-all.
Llinares' goal would start a three-goal run as von Bargen would get his first of the season just 56 seconds into the fourth and Byrne would score his fourth of the game less than two minutes later to give the Pride a 9-7 lead. McBride and von Bargen would exchange goals for their respective teams just 36 seconds apart just under the 7:00 mark as Hofstra clung to a 10-8 advantage.
But the Tigers would not quit and Weaver scored his second of the season with 5:21 to play and McBride would tie the game less than two minutes later, off a pass in front by Carter Flaig, to knot the game at 10-10. Princeton had the last possession of regulation but the Pride defense snuffed out any offensive threat to send the game into overtime.
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