Fall Ball Focus: Hofstra Men Enter a New Era

PHOTO BY JACOB LEWIS / HOFSTRA ATHLETICS

Colton Rudd figures to provide punch on attack with Dylan McIntosh.


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Donovan Rock, Seth Tierney would like to apologize to you. Again and again and again. 

The freshman — one of 13 freshmen on the Hofstra men’s lacrosse roster, to go along with another 10 redshirt freshman — wears No. 13. That’s the same number worn by the Pride’s all-time leading scorer, and Seth’s son, Ryan Tierney, who left a lasting legacy in Hempstead after five memorable seasons. 

“It took me a couple of days to figure it out, another guy is wearing No. 13,” Seth Tierney said. “I saw the number, and I just starting yelling at practice. I had to apologize.”

Rock wears the same number, but he’s not expected to fill the shoes of the program’s and the Colonial Athletic Association’s all-time leading scorer. 

No one is. 

“There are other great players on our team, but the the makeup and the recipe and the ingredients that Ryan had with being pretty talented, always proving himself because he never just wanted to play because his dad was the coach, he wanted to play because he deserved to play, and the success of the guys that he had around him,” Tierney said. “Now we’re rebuilding all of that or reloading all of that, and we like some of the pieces.”

And while Tierney left as the most decorated player in the program’s history, there were other fifth-year players whose vast experiences helped lead Hofstra to the CAA championship game, where they fell to Drexel. Players like Riley Forte, as well as Alex Concannon and Justin Lynskey, who transferred in to play their fifth seasons in Hempstead. 

So for Tierney, the fall represents a perfect opportunity to see some returning players in more advanced roles and how that small army of freshmen react to their first taste of collegiate lacrosse. 

That came at Shuart Stadium in the Nick Colleluori Classic in conjunction with the HEADstrong Foundation. Hofstra took on Marist and Air Force in their first games of the fall season. Bucknell, LIU and Siena also competed in the early October event. The next day, the women took center stage with Hofstra, USC, West Point, Stony Brook and Yale competing. A total of $65,000 was raised to help HEADstrong assist local families affected by cancer. 

Colleluori was a Hofstra men’s lacrosse player who joined the program in 2004 but died on Nov. 28, 2006, following a 14-month battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. 







“I’m excited to see what comes out of that locker room today, just on them,” Tierney said a few hours before his team took the field. “Coaches can bring it as much as they want, but the whistle is gonna blow and pregame speeches go out the window. It is just a fall scrimmage. We had a pretty emotional meeting yesterday telling them about Nick’s story and what we went through and what we did as a team, and I think they got connected to Nick a little bit like we want them to do every year.”

While the pressure isn’t on Dylan McIntosh, who had great chemistry with Tierney last year, to fill the scoring void, the fifth-year attackman will take a leading role as captain to help guide a young and relatively inexperienced squad. He’s also hoping his red-hot finish to the 2021 season, which included five goals against Delaware in a CAA semifinal, can carry over to 2022. 

“All I can hope for is just to keep putting production up, keep trying to lead on the field and help make my teammates better around me,” McIntosh said. “I definitely feel like I’ve got great responsibility to lead these guys forward, and I do have the experience. I’ve been in those games, those really important games, so yeah, I bear some responsibility to lead this team.”

Tierney and McIntosh also know the narrative around the program. McIntosh said it’s impossible not to in the age of social media. 

“I think the guys have already started to take the underdog role,” Tierney said. “I think that the early polls are Ryan Tierney and all his friends are gone, and this team is going to drop, and they have taken that as a little bit of a rally cry, and they’re right to do that. The ball won’t be in No. 13’s stick when the game is on the line, but the ball is going to be in someone else’s stick when the game is on the line.”

HOFSTRA AT A GLANCE 

While there may be more questions than answers because of this group not getting a ton of playing time previously, there’s no doubt about what the Pride have at the faceoff X between graduate student Brian Herber and junior Chase Patterson. 

Herber was an All-CAA first team selection and was seventh in the country with a .636 faceoff winning percentage. Patterson provided that important added punch at the position. 

“Herber is, if we had to guess, he’s gonna be a top 10 guy in the country this year,” Tierney said. “He was a top 10 guy last year, didn’t get a whole lot of recognition for it, but some of those guys graduated, and if he continues to work hard, maybe he makes a push for this whole thing.”

Tierney expects Mac Gates to fill in as the starting goaltender, with freshman Sean Henderson pushing for playing time. 

Bryan McIntosh, a transfer from Mount St. Mary’s, and seniors Tom Ford and Tim Hegarty should anchor the defense, while Tierney likes what he sees from Charlie Ragault and Diego Zimmerman at LSM.

Justin Sykes is among the few to see significant playing time in the midfield a year ago. He’ll be joined by James Philbin and Sterlyn Ardrey, while Colton Rudd, who started five of the 10 games he played in and scored seven goals last year, should provide punch in the attack with Dylan McIntosh. 

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