Hofstra Tops #11 Drexel in OT to Win CAA Championship

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Junior Tom Dooley scored just 11 seconds into overtime, after the Pride rallied from two goals down with two minutes to play in regulation, as Hofstra captured the CAA title with a 10-9 victory over #11 Drexel at Vidas Field Saturday night. It is Hofstra's second CAA Championship and its ninth conference title overall. The Pride, who improved to 10-5 on the season, get the CAA's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament that begins next Saturday, May 10.

The NCAA Championship field of 16 will be announced Sunday night between 9 and 10 p.m. on ESPN News. The Pride will be making their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and their second in the past three seasons after advancing to the quarterfinals in 2006.

Hofstra junior Anthony Muscarella led the Pride in Saturday's championship game with four goals and one assist, Senior Michael Unterstein added three goals, junior Michael Colleluori added a goal and two assists and freshman Jay Card posted three assists including one on the game-winner. Sophomore goalie Danny Orlando posted 12 saves in the Pride cage. Hofstra senior defensemen Collin Stabler and Jack Vivonetto, and freshman face-off specialist Joe Montemurro were named to the CAA All-Tournament team with senior middie Kevin Unterstein being named the CAA Championship Most Outstanding Player.

After a 5-5 deadlock at halftime and Hofstra senior middie Michael Unterstein tying the game at 7-all 54 seconds into the fourth quarter, off a pass from Muscarella, the Dragons scored goals 12 seconds apart to take a 9-7 lead with 12:40 to play in regulation. The score remained that way as the clock ticked down inside two minutes. But Muscarella brought the Pride back to within one when he trickled a shot past Drexel goalie and CAA Player of the Year Bruce Bickford, off a pass from Card, with 1:18 to play.

Montemurro won the ensuing face-off and, after a Hofstra timeout, sophomore Dan Stein picked up a loose ball in front of the crease and fired it high into the cage to tie the game at 9-9 with 51 seconds to play in regulation. In the overtime, Montemurro won the face-off with Steve Prifte picking up the loose ball. Prifte fed Card, who passed to Dooley, who fired from the left side of Bickford from eight yards for his 26th goal of the season and the ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

"This game showed that this team has a lot of character," Pride head coach Seth Tierney said, "They never quit and I am awfully proud of these guys."

Like their regular season match-up on March 29 that ended with Drexel winning, 9-8 in double overtime, Saturday's contest was another thriller. The Pride jumped out to a 3-0 lead as Michael Unterstein opened the scoring on an unassisted goal with 3:54 to play in the first quarter. It was his 16th of the season. Muscarella scored the first of his four on the day and the 24th of the season less than two minutes later, and made it 3-0 just 1:03 into the second period, off a pass from Colleluori.

But Colin Ambler put Drexel on the board 13 seconds later off a pass from Scott Perri. Michael Unterstein boosted the Pride lead to 4-1 less than three minutes later before the Dragons tallied three goals in 1:32 to tie the contest. First, Ron Garling tallied a man-up goal with 4:38 to play in the half. Ambler then scored his second of the evening and 21st of the year 27 seconds later, and Joe Wojciechowski tied it at 4-all with 3:06 remaining.

The Pride looked like they would have a 5-4 lead at halftime after Card fed Colleluori for his 10th goal of the year with 43 seconds to play. But Dragon junior Kevin Dart fired a bullet past Orlando with one second to play in the half to tie the contest at 5-5.

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2008-05-04



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