No. 15 Penn State Edges Hofstra in 2OT to Win Fifth Straight

Hofstra was led by senior Mike DeNapoli with four goals while junior Aaron Jones, sophomore Torin Varn and freshmen Mike Malave and Korey Hendrickson each scored single goals. Sophomore Lance Yapor assisted on two goals. Senior goalie Andrew Gvozden, a four-year starter, recorded 12 saves in the Pride cage. The Pride played without their leading scorer, junior Adrian Sorichetti, due to a back injury.

Penn State was led by senior Matt Mackrides with three goals and two assists, Sturgis with two goals and two assists and senior Jack Forster with two goals and one assist. Junior Nick Dolik and sophomore Gavin Ahern, who sent the game into overtime, scored solo goals for the Nittany Lions. Sophomore goalie Austin Kaut made 14 saves in the Penn State cage.

The Pride, who needed a win at Penn State and a victory by winless St. Joseph's over Towson to qualify for the CAA Tournament, almost got their wish on Saturday. After Dolik opened the game with his 14th goal of the year just 1:04 into the contest, Hofstra scored the next four goals over the next 10 minutes to take a 4-1 lead.

DeNapoli scored his 18th of the year, off a pass from Yapor, at the 11:32 mark to tie the game at 1-1. Hendrickson scored his first of the year 41 seconds later to give the Pride a lead they would not relinquish until the end of regulation. DeNapoli and Yapor hooked up again at the 8:18 mark for DeNapoli's 19th goal and Jones gave the Pride a 4-1 lead with his sixth goal of the year with 4:05 to play in the first quarter.

But Mackrides cut the deficit with his 26th goal of the year with 1:53 to play in the first and Sturgis notched his 16th of the year 2:46 into the second quarter to cut the Pride lead to 4-3. Both Gvozden and Kaut made three saves in the second quarter as the half ended with the Pride ahead, 4-3.

Hofstra came out in the second half and opened up a 7-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter with three goals in the third. DeNapoli completed his fourth hat-trick of the season and 20th goal of the year, off a pass from Ryan O'Leary, at the 7:06 mark of the third before Malave scored his ninth of the year 27 seconds later for a 6-3 lead. DeNapoli then tallied his fourth of the game, equaling his career-best, on the man-up with 3:35 to play in the quarter.

But Penn State scored twice in the first 2:04 of the fourth quarter as Mackrides scored his second of the game just 1:02 after a Pride turnover, and Forster notched his 26th of the year as the man-up opportunity expires at the 12:56 mark. Hofstra's Torin Varn scored his eighth of the year on a dodge and a low bullet at the 8:29 mark to boost the Pride lead to 8-5.

The Nittany Lions mounted their comeback in the final 3:18 as Forster got his second of the game, off a pass from Sturgis at that points and Mackrides scored his third of the game and 28th of the year 31 seconds later to close to 8-7 with 2:47 to play. Hofstra turned the ball over in the final minute giving the ball back to Penn State and Ahern took a pass from Forster and fired a bullet past Gvozden with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime.

After a scoreless first overtime, the Pride put the pressure on Kaut with Steve Serling, Yapor and Jones firing shots with Kaut stopping the latter two and Serling's shot sailing just over the crossbar. On the winning goal, Sturgis came around the right side of Gvozden, got a step on his defender and beat the Pride goalie. It is the four overtime loss of the season for the Pride.

Penn State outshot Hofstra, 40-39 while the Pride picked up 24 ground balls to the Nittany Lions 21. The loss became even more bitter when St. Joseph's downed Towson in a league game that would have sent the Pride to the CAA Tournament if they had won.

With the loss, the Pride said farewell to six seniors who played their final game Saturday. In addition to Gvozden and DeNapoli, other Hofstra seniors included midfielders Dan Pezzolla, Zach Pall and Cole Koesterer and defender Brian Hogan.

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2012-04-28



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