No. 1 UMass Edges Hofstra to Win CAA Regular-Season Title

After a sluggish first 20 minutes that saw the Minutemen score the first four goals of the contest and eight of the first 11, the Pride trailed 8-3 at the 9:16 mark of the second quarter as Kell scored his second of the game. But the Pride scored twice in the last 5:21 as Jones scored his fourth of the season and Johnston notched his second of the year with 4:08 to play to close to 8-5 at halftime. UMass scored two of the first three goals in the third quarter as Biscardi scored his 15th of the year just 1:31 in before Malave scored for the Pride at the 10:54 mark. But Fleming tallied his second of the game1:30 later to give UMass a 10-6 advantage.

The Pride rallied at that point scoring the next five goals with DeNapoli tying the game at 10-10 with a man-up goal with 13 seconds to play in the third and junior John Antoniades giving Hofstra its first lead of the game at 11-10, right off the opening face-off (14:52) of the fourth quarter for his second goal of the year. DeNapoli had two goals in the run while Malave and Jones added the other Pride goals during the spurt.

But the Minutemen answered with four straight goals as Kell tied it up with 12:56 to play and Smith scored his third of the game 3:04 later to give UMass a 12-11 lead. Fleming notched his third of the game with 6:02 to play before Biscardi gave the Minutemen a 14-11 lead with his 16th of the year with 5:00 to play.

The Pride didn't quit as DeNapoli scored off a pass from Yapor 50 seconds later to close to 14-12. Hofstra closed to one goal down with 45 seconds to play on Yapor's 25th goal of the year. Hofstra won the ensuing face-off, but, after a timeout, turned the ball over with 31 seconds to play as the Minutemen ran out the clock for all but four seconds deep in the Pride zone.

UMass outshot the Pride, 42-31 in the contest and picked up 37 ground balls to Hofstra's 20. The Pride also turned the ball over 14 times including five in the fourth quarter.

The Minutemen scored the game's first four goals in 10:49 as Colin Fleming opened the scoring just 1:02 in from the middle of the box. Connor Mooney notched a man-up goal with 8:17 to play in the first and Will Manny posted his 28th of the year 1:23 later for a 3-0 lead. Art Kell closed out the run with his 22nd of the year with 4:11 to play in the first for the 4-0 lead.

But the Pride scored the next two goals as Yapor dented the twine for his 24th of the year with eight seconds to play in the first and Malave notched an unassisted goal on a run through the box 33 seconds into the first quarter to close the gap to 4-2. But UMass came back with goals by Kyle Smith and Steve D'Amario 1:13 apart to boost the lead to 6-2. Hofstra's Steve Serling scored a man-up goal from Begley just 1:03 later but Smith responded with a man-up goal with 9:38 to before Kell gave the Minutemen their biggest lead of the contest at the 9:16 mark.

The Pride, who saw their chances for a CAA Championship tournament bid diminish greatly with the loss, will close out the 2012 regular season next Saturday, April 28 when they travel to State College, Pennsylvania to face the Nittany Lions of Penn State in a CAA contest at noon.

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2012-04-21



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