Hempstead, NY – Led by three goals and three draw controls from sophomore attack Jenn Ward, the Hofstra Women’s Lacrosse team clinched a spot in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship with a 9-8 victory over Old Dominion on Friday afternoon at James M. Shuart Stadium.
Freshman attack April Iannetta tied Ward for team-high honors with three points on two goals and an assist as the Pride improved to 5-10 overall and 4-2 in CAA play with its second straight victory and third win in its last four games. The Lady Monarchs fell to 4-12 and 1-5 in league action with the defeat.
Hofstra will be making its seventh appearance in the CAA Tournament since joining the league in 2002 and the first since advancing to the title game in 2010.
The tournament will take place at either Towson or James Madison, as the two squads meet on Sunday to decide the regular season title. The semifinals will take place on Friday, April 27 and the championship game is on Sunday, April 29. Hofstra will be the three seed in the four-team tournament.
Ward kick-started a 4-0 scoring run early in the contest that gave Hofstra a 4-1 advantage with 11:11 left in the opening half. Ward had two goals during the run, while freshman midfielder Brittain Altomare and Iannetta added the other tallies.
Hofstra would take a 5-3 lead into the break as senior midfielder Maryann Miller added the Pride’s other first half goal, while Sarah Wright scored for the Lady Monarchs to close the first half scoring.
The Pride opened the second stanza with three straight goals to take what appeared to be a commanding 8-3 advantage with 18:37 showing on the clock. Ward would complete her hat trick during the run with sophomore midfielder Alex Mezzanotte and Iannetta accounting for the other Hofstra goals.
Old Dominion rallied late, though, as the Lady Monarchs scored a pair of goals 17 seconds apart to close the gap to 8-5, with 11:10 left in regulation.
After junior attack Claire Brady pushed the lead back to four goals with 4:16 to play, ODU made a frantic late push to even the score.
Jordynn Collins scored off a Lisa Bernardini assist with 2:42 remaining before Bernardini added two goals, including one with 1:26 left to cut the deficit to one, 9-8.
With Hofstra clinging to a one-goal lead, Old Dominion had a pair of shots in the final 45 seconds, but both were offline and sophomore midfielder Liz Anders had a huge caused turnover with 14 seconds to play that preserved the victory for Hofstra.
Senior goalie Jaclyn Pandolf made 12 saves in net, six in each half, to earn her fifth win of the season. Pandolf also had six ground balls in the game, giving her 125 for her career to move into sixth place all-time.
Anders led Hofstra with two caused turnovers, while Miller chipped in with a goal, an assist and two draw controls.
Bernardini posted a game-high six points on three goals and three assists for Old Dominion, while Collins added two goals for the Lady Monarchs. Bernardini also had four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Sarah Geary had 10 saves for ODU.
Hofstra returns to action on Sunday when it hosts William & Mary at 1 p.m. The Pride will honor its seniors prior to the game against the Tribe as Sunday marks the final home game for Chrissy Jones, Genna Kovar, Jaclyn Pandolf and Elizabeth Zorovich.
Live stats and video for Sunday’s game can be found at GoHofstra.com.