Hofstra Hopes to Put Painful End to 2017 Behind It


All-American goalie Jack Concannon, who let in the 35-yard buzzer-beater that ended Hofstra's season in the CAA semifinals, returns for his senior season.

US Lacrosse Magazine released the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men’s Preseason Top 20 on Jan. 8. Team-by-team previews will be unveiled on uslaxmagazine.com throughout January and will also appear as part of the magazine’s NCAA preview edition that mails to US Lacrosse members Feb. 1 — opening day of the 2018 college lacrosse season.

No. 14 Hofstra

2017 Record: 11-3 (3-2 CAA)
Coach: Seth Tierney (12th year)
All-Time Record: 566-385-4
NCAA Appearances: 17
Final Fours: 0
Championships: 0

On April 8, 2017, Hofstra beat Colonial Athletic Association rival Delaware 10-8 on the road to improve to 10-0 for the season. They rose to No. 2 in the country in the coaches poll two days later. It was a pretty heady time.

Less than a month later, Hofstra’s season came to a devastating end in the CAA semifinals. The Pride lost three of their last four games, none more painful than when UMass scored on a 35-yard bomb at the buzzer following a Hofstra violation with just one second remaining.

“It has to be used as a motivator,” coach Seth Tierney said. “We won at North Carolina for the second year in a row and beat some talented teams. It’s disappointing the way it ended. We dug ourselves too big of a hole [against UMass], and that last play happened. Whether it should have been a goal or not, whatever it was, it happened.”

Not surprisingly, the loss was an especially tough pill to swallow for All-American goalie Jack Concannon.

“When we were walking off the field, I told him, ‘Now’s not the time, but you were unbelievable for us,’” Tierney said. “He was crushed and felt like he let his teammates down.”

Concannon’s return for his senior season is one reason for optimism along Hempstead Turnpike. Another reason is someone very close to Tierney — his son, Ryan. The younger Tierney almost didn’t see the field in 2017, but instead earned CAA Rookie of the Year honors as the team’s second leading scorer behind CAA Player of the Year Josh Byrne.

“I thought about redshirting him, because I didn’t think he’d be ready to play,” Seth Tierney said. “I’d rather have him as a fifth-year senior than a first-year freshman. But he jelled with Josh and for the most part played within himself. I told him for him to get playing time it had to be crystal clear and that he had to work that much harder than the other guys.”

Ryan Tierney earned his spot, and now will be a key cog of an offense that returns almost every player that scored a point, except for Byrne. That’s no easy replacement, nor will be replacing defensive leader Michael Diener. But with most of the CAA in rebuilding mode, Hofstra is well-positioned to take home the league’s hardware this season.

The Case For Hofstra

There’s no substitute for experience, and Hofstra has 16 seniors on the roster for 2018. The veteran presence is especially true in the midfield, with eight seniors at the position. Last year’s trio on the first midfield unit are all back as seniors and all were major forces on offense: Dylan Alderman (18g, 18a), Brendan Kavanagh (23g, 6a) and Alex Moeser (16g, 8a). Senior Dale Stasco should also figure into the rotation, and Tierney is also high on a couple of younger midfielders: Riley Forte, who redshirted after getting injured last year, and Dominic Pryor, a three-sport athlete from Ward Melville (N.Y.) High School.

The Case Against Hofstra

If goaltending and faceoffs are the two keys to success, then Hofstra has one factor ably covered with All-American Jack Concannon in goal. But improving at the faceoff X is critical for the Pride. Freshman Kyle Gallagher, who miraculously was even on the field after breaking his neck three weeks before college started, took the majority of draws. He won 47.7 percent last season and should be improved with a year under his belt, and by being fully healthy. “He won the lottery just being on the field,” Tierney said.

Path to the Playoffs

CAA champion Towson made a run to the NCAA semifinals last year, but heavy graduation losses leave the league wide open for 2017. Towson and Hofstra were the only teams in the league to finish over .500, so an AQ from the CAA is Hofstra’s best path to its first tournament berth since it went to three straight NCAA tournaments from 2009-2011. The Pride jumps right into the fire, opening at Ohio State, and will look to knock off North Carolina for the third straight season.

Players To Watch

Jack Concannon, G, Sr.

57.1 SV%, 8.80 GAA

A stabilizing force entering his third year as a starter, Concannon was a second team All-American last year. He had double-digit saves nine times, including 19 in a one-goal win over Providence.

Ryan Tierney, A, So.

31 G, 16 A

His dad, who happens to be the head coach, considered redshirting him. Instead, Tierney was the CAA Rookie of the Year after a 47-point season. He’ll have to adjust to more pressure with no Josh Byrne in the lineup, but there is enough talent around for him to shine.

Brendan Kavanagh, M, Sr.

23G, 6 A

The younger brother of former Notre Dame star Matt Kavanagh had a career-high 25 goals last season and earned first-team All-CAA and second-team All-ECAC honors. His six man-up goals led the team.

National Rankings




Offense 17th 11.57 GPG
Defense 14th 8.79 GAA
Faceoffs 51st 45.7%
Ground Balls 42nd 26.71/game
Caused TO 69th 4.21/game
Shooting 3rd 35.3%
Man-Up 25th 36.5%
Man-Down 35th 65.0%
Assists 23rd 6.36/game
Turnovers 4th 10.79/game
Clearing 28th 87.8%

Power Ratings (Scale of 1-5)






Ten of Hofstra’s 14 games in 2017 were decided by two goals or fewer, including all three losses. Even when they were 10-0, the Pride were living dangerously, with seven of the wins coming by two goals or fewer.

5-Year Trend
Ground Balls Per Game (National Rank)




2013 25.71 56th
2014 28.69 40th
2015 27.86 36th
2016 29.93 17th
2017 26.71 42nd

Coach Confidential
Seth Tierney

“Biggest loss offensively is Josh Byrne. He went on to be the Rookie of the Year in the MLL and the No. 1 pick in the indoor league. We can’t try to replace him with one player.”

Enemy Lines
Rival Coaches

“Just about everyone back except Josh Byrne. With his son Ryan on attack and the rest of the offense returning (Yanes, Alderman, Kavanagh and Moeser), Seth’s complexity on offense can be enhanced as the Pride focus on one offensive midfield line to do all of the work. The synergy will be there, important to Seth’s timing of his plays and schemes. ... No one was better than Jack Concannon in the cage for much of the season. How does he bounce back from the final shot he faced? ...  Improving their faceoffs will be key, as the Pride can be suffocating with ball control and limiting turnovers. ... Experienced success last year. Can they replace Byrne? ... Most of the team returns. They won a lot of games last year.”

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