Hofstra vs. Villanova
April 30, 2003
The Game Story:
HEMPSTEAD, New York - Freshman attackman Chris Unterstein recorded three goals and one assist, and freshman goalie Matthew Southard posted a season-best 17 saves as the seventh-ranked Pride of Hofstra defeated the Villanova Wildcats 9-6 in a CAA Championship Tournament semifinal game at James M. Shuart Stadium Wednesday night.

The victory, Hofstra^s sixth consecutive win, improves the Pride^s record to 11-4 and sends them into the CAA Championship game at Towson, the CAA^s top-seed, Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Villanova ends its season at 10-5.

Hofstra jumped on Villanova early, scoring twice in the first 1:57 as freshman middie Tim Treubig scored his ninth of the season from the left side beating Wildcat goalie Joseph Canuso high to the far side. Unterstein gave the Pride a 2-0 lead 52 seconds later, coming around the cage for his seventh goal of the season. Villanova senior Brian Marks closed the gap to 2-1 with 9:25 to play in the first with an unassisted score, his 23rd goal of the year.

But Unterstein^s second goal of the game, off a feed up top from Joe Kostolansky, with 2:17 to play started a 3-0 Hofstra run with senior long-stick middie Mike Allain and Joe Kostolansky adding goals to give the Pride a 5-1 lead with 6:26 to play in the first half. Wildcat junior middie Matt Lucas posted his 14th goal of the season with 3:27 to play to close the first half scoring with Hofstra ahead 5-2. The Wildcats outshot the Pride 22-13 and won seven of the nine faceoffs in the first half. But Hofstra goalie Matt Southard recorded nine saves in the first two periods.

The Pride opened the second half like they started the game, with two goals in the first 2:55 as Treubig scored his second of the game and 10th of the year at the 2:11 mark before Chris Unterstein (3 goals, 1 assist) fed Jim Femminella for his team-leading 32nd of the season 44 seconds later.

But the Wildcats not only battled Hofstra all night, they also battled hard luck missing the cage on shots 20 times and hitting the Hofstra post or cross bar four times. Villanova closed the deficit to 7-3 at the 6:56 mark of the third quarter as sophomore Marc Creegan notched his team-leading 34th goal of the year from Chris Kramer. But Kostolansky came back two minutes later to score his second unassisted goal of the night to boost the lead to 8-3. Marks recorded his second of the game from Richie Kratz with 2:55 to play in the third to bring the Wildcats back within four. But Unterstein completed the hat-trick with 1:45 to play in the third off a pass from sophomore middie Ryan Vilar to equal Hofstra^s biggest lead of the game at 9-4.

Matt Lucas tallied an unassisted goal, his 15th of the year, just 16 second before the period^s end to bring the deficit to four at 9-5. Villanova kept up the pressure on Hofstra in the fourth quarter, outshooting the Pride 14-7. But Hofstra goalie Matthew Southard posted four of his career-high 17 saves in the fourth to keep Villanova at bay. Wildcat freshman middie Matt Starker was finally able to get through Southard, off a feed from Kratz, with 2:37 to play in the game. But it was too little, too late as Hofstra advances to the CAA Tournament Championship game Saturday night at top-seed Towson, a 17-2 winner over Drexel in the other semifinal, at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that game will get the conference^s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament that begins on May10th.

The Wildcats outshot Hofstra 47-29 and picked up 49 ground balls to Hofstra^s 32.