Hofstra vs. Duke
April 26, 2002
The Game Story:
HEMPSTEAD, New York - Hofstra senior attackman Scott Dooley scored two of his three goals in a 5-0 first half run, junior middie Paul Rao scored three goals and the Pride defense clamped down on the Duke offense as ninth-ranked Hofstra (10-3) posted a convincing 14-6 victory over seventh-ranked Duke (7-6) Friday night at Hofstra Stadium. A crowd of 5,995 saw the Pride post their eighth consecutive victory and keep their hopes alive for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Hofstra freshman middie Mike Morrison tallied a goal and two assists, senior middie Adam Hananel added three assists and senior goalie Jack Alaimo had to make only four saves as the Pride defense held Duke to 22 shots while Hofstra took 41. Duke junior middie Kevin Cassese led the Blue Devils with four goals and one assist while leading scorer Alex Lieske was held to a goal and an assist. Senior goalie A.J. Kincel posted 14 saves in the Duke cage.

Duke jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Kevin Brennan, his 15th of the year, at the 3:00 mark and Lieske, his 18th, nine minutes later. But Hofstra's leading scorer Tom Kessler scored his 27th goal of the year with 1:31 to play in the first quarter to start a 5-0 run. Dooley scored his 26th of the season 2:49 into the second quarter off a pass from Hananel to tie the game at 2-2. Senior Paul Defendini tallied his 10th of the year off a pass from Brian Connelly 1:03 later to give Hofstra a 3-2 lead. Dooley notched his 27th from Rich Mekeel 1:04 later before Rao tallied his 13th of the season from Hananel 45 seconds later to give Hofstra a 5-2 lead.

Kevin Cassese ended Hofstra's run with back-to-back goals, scoring 10 seconds after Rao's goal right from the face-off, and then notching his 20th of the year 42 seconds later to bring Duke back to within one at 5-4. But Dooley scored his third of the game and 28th of the year from Kevin Dougherty with 2:41 to play in the half, and Rao added his second 10 seconds before the intermission to give the Pride a 7-4 advantage at halftime.

Hofstra scored three times in the third quarter while holding Duke to just two shots to boost their lead to 10-5 heading into the final period. First, Rao completed the hat-trick with his 15th goal of the year from Hananel 1:33 into the third. Cassese got one back for Duke from Lieske at the 5:27 mark. Then Jim Femminella (18th) and Bryan Walker (5th) notched Hofstra goals 1:37 apart to give the Pride a five goal lead after three quarters.

Cassese would once again give Duke fans hope with his fourth of the game and 22nd of the season 1:25 into the final quarter to close the deficit to 10-6. But Steve McTigue (13th), Femminella (19th), Morrison (2nd) and Walker (6th) followed with unanswered Hofstra goals to seal the victory.

Hofstra posted its 15th-double-digit victory season with the win with eight of those 15 seasons happening during Coach John Danowski's 17-year tenure at Hofstra. The Pride will close out their 2002 regular season on Wednesday, May 1 at Hofstra Stadium when they host the 12th-ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. Duke, the ACC champions, concluded its regular season Friday night and finishes with a 7-6 record.