Pride junior Athan Iannucci tallied five goals and three assists and Chris Unterstein added three goals and two assists to lead third-seed Hofstra to a 14-8 victory over Providence (10-7) in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship at James M. Shuart Stadium on Sunday. Hofstra, which recorded its 17th consecutive victory to improve to 17-1 on the season, tied the NCAA Division I record for most victories in a single season, set by Duke in 2005.
The victory sends the Pride into next Saturday's Northern quarterfinal at Stony Brook University on Long Island. against the University of Massachusetts, which beat the Pride11-7 in the season opener on February 26, It will be the Pride's fourth trip ever to the men's lacrosse quarterfinals.
On Sunday against the Friars of Providence, the Pride scored the first seven goals of the game and took a 9-2 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Hofstra onslaught began 1:51 into the contest as senior Tim Treubig took a pass from Athan Iannucci and fired a low bullet past Providence goalie Peter Littell for his 16th goal of the year. Iannucci then tallied his 58th of the season on a bounce shot from eight yards out 1:10 later to boost the lead to 2-0. The Friars were able to hold off the Hofstra attack thanks to junior goalie Peter Littell, who made eight saves in the first quarter as the Pride outshot Providence 16-2.
Senior Chris Unterstein, who assisted on Iannucci's goal, opened the scoring in the second quarter 52 seconds into the period with his 39th goal of the year. Senior face-off specialist Joe Mascaretti was the spark for the Pride in their next goal six seconds later, winning the face-off and feeding Iannucci, who tallied his second of the game and 59th of the year, for a 4-0 lead. Freshman Tom Dooley tied the Hofstra points record by a freshman with his 36th goal and 49th point off a pass from senior John Keysor with 5:50 to play in the half. Bill Peters bumped the score to 6-0 with his fifth goal of the year, off a pass from Iannucci . Iannucci ended the Hofstra run with his third of the game and 60th of the season 23 second later for a 7-0 lead with 4:31 to play in the half.
The Friars got on the board with 2:53 to play in the first half as senior Jonathan Hollister tallied his 16th goal of the year. But Chris Unterstein and Iannucci scored goals 15 seconds apart, inside the two minute mark, to boost the lead to 9-1. Providence senior Mark Seyer closed out the first half scoring with his 21st goal of the year from Hollister with 22 second left in the half. The Pride dominated again in the second, outshooting the Friars 15-2 as Littell made four more stops and was saved by the goalposts several times.
Despite being dominated in the first half the Friars would not quit. Providence came out in the third quarter and scored three of the first four goals as Michael Farley notched his 32nd of the year 1:15 into the half before Hofstra's Chris Unterstein scored his third of the game almost a minutes later to move the score to 10-3. But Tom Kelly and Mark Seyer would score goals for the Friars off passes from Brendan Ryan to close the gap to 10-5 with 9:32 to play in the third.
Sophomore Mike Unterstein scored his 11th goal of the year off a pass from his brother Chris with 6:20 to play in the third, and senior Tim Treubig tallied his second of the game and 17th of the season 1:17 into the fourth for a 12-5 advantage. Kelly and Iannucci exchanged goals and Hollister and Dooley did the same later in the period to boost the score to 14-7. Dooley's goal, his 50th point of the year, broke the Hofstra freshman points record set by Dave McCulloch (26-23) in 1983. Farley closed out the scoring in the game for Providence with a man-up goal 1:56 from the end.
The Pride outshot Providence 47-16 in the contest and picked up 45 ground balls to the Friars 20. Mascaretti won 19 of 26 face-offs and picked up an individual season high 13 grounds balls. Hofstra senior defender Brett Moyer forced five turnovers and picked up four ground balls to lead the Pride defense. Hofstra goalie Matt Southard made just three saves while his counterpart Littell finished with 17 for Providence. The Friars received three assists from Brendan Ryan and two goals each from Hollister, Seyer, Kelly and Farley.
The Hofstra-UMass quarterfinal game next Saturday will be the 31st contest in the series between the two rivals. The Minutemen hold a 16-14 series lead and have won the last five meetings since a 12-11 Hofstra overtime victory to open the 2002 season.
Hofstra vs. Providence