Hofstra rolling through the punches
The hits just keep coming for Hofstra, which added junior midfielder Dan Pezzolla to its list of season-ending injuries.
Pezzolla was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back, joining fifth-year senior Steve Serling (lacerated spleen) and sophomore Drew Coholan (shoulder) as midfielders who will miss the remainder of the season.
“We did get hit pretty good with the injury bug, and it’s going to be here for the remainder of the year,” coach Seth Tierney said Tuesday. “We’re just kind of going back and maybe some of the guys who were a little lower on the depth chart have now moved up, and we have to catch them up. And it’s certainly easier to catch up guys in the preseason, but when you’re in your CAA [Colonial Athletic Association] swing, it’s not so easy. But we’re trying to get there little by little and go from there and see what happens.”
The loss of Serling and Coholan, a pair of first-line midfielders who had combined for five goals and eight assists before their injuries, has been somewhat mitigated by the play of junior Kevin Ford (three goals and two assists in his last four starts) and sophomore Ian Braddish (three goals and two assists in his last three starts).
Still, Tierney said the offense is trying to regain the rhythm it had with Serling and Coholan in the lineup.
“Drew and Steven were great at keeping the flow of the offense, making the simple play, and understanding things out there,” Tierney said. “And that’s what made our first midfield pretty potent and certainly helped our attack. The next players stepping up are equally as good, but we just need to teach them some things that Drew and Steven had under control pretty much.”
The Pride bandwagon got lighter after the injuries to Serling and Coholan were publicized first by Inside Lacrosse and lost even more members after the team dropped the league opener against Delaware on March 19.
No. 10 Hofstra, however, rebounded with a convincing 11-6 victory over No. 18 Drexel last Saturday, and Tierney said the players and coaches haven’t gotten swept up in the gnashing of teeth outside of the program.
“We didn’t take it that way,” he said. “You just have to move on. They’re big hits, but you move on. And there are other players out there waiting for their opportunity and fighting for their opportunity, and now they have it, and we’re going to see what they can do with it. But we haven’t dwelled on it as much.”