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Delaware captures second straight CAA males’s lacrosse championship

Managing Sports activities Editor

Practically one yr in the past, the Delaware males’s lacrosse group impressed on a nationwide stage, eliminating Georgetown to advance to this system’s third-ever NCAA quarterfinal.

Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium within the Colonial Athletic Affiliation (CAA) championship recreation, the Blue Hens assured themselves an opportunity at an encore by securing their return to the NCAA event as they beat Stony Brook 13-10.

The win gave Delaware its fifth CAA event crown and second straight, making the Hens the primary group to repeat within the convention championship since Towson gained the league tourney in three consecutive years (2015-2017).

“I feel now we have raised the requirements right here, and our guys are prepared for that,” Delaware head coach Ben DeLuca mentioned. “That’s why they got here right here. That’s why [athletic director] Chrissi [Rawak] introduced me right here.”

After falling behind 3-0 on the outset of their eventual CAA semifinal win over Towson, the Blue Hens loved an auspicious begin towards Stony Brook, scoring the sport’s first three targets within the first eight minutes of the opening quarter. By the primary quarter’s finish, Delaware had outshot the Seawolves 16-6, together with 10-4 in pictures on objective.

The Hens had been diligent in making Saturday a greater starting, DeLuca mentioned, however Stony Brook course-corrected within the second quarter, settling into the title recreation by outscoring Delaware 3-2 within the interval. It trimmed the Blue Hen benefit to 7-5 at halftime.

“At halftime, we went in with a two-goal lead and we let our guys know, like, ‘Hey, we’re not taking part in our greatest simply but,’” DeLuca mentioned. “We had been hitting a number of pipes, we had been producing a number of actually good offense, however we weren’t essentially scoring. And doing that coming in with a two-goal lead, we knew that it was going to interrupt ultimately and [it was a matter of] simply sticking to the straightforward performs and the basics and trusting that our offense is gonna work and our protection was gonna lock in and maintain them.”

Head coach Ben DeLuca hoists the CAA trophy in entrance of his gamers throughout Saturday’s post-game celebrations.
Jacob Letnaunchyn/THE REVIEW

Delaware graduate scholar goalkeeper Matt Kilkeary’s 14 saves marked his second consecutive outing with double-digit stops and matched the save whole of Stony Brook’s Jamison MacLachlan. Kilkeary took dwelling the event’s Most Excellent Participant award and was joined on the CAA All-Event group by teammates Tye Kurtz, Joe Speers and JP Ward.

Ward’s 4 targets on 5 pictures knotted him with Seawolves senior assault Dylan Pallonetti for the sport excessive in targets. Pallonetti was one among Stony Brook’s 4 All-CAA first-team choices because the guests sought {hardware} of their inaugural season within the convention following a transfer from the America East Convention.

As a substitute, it was Delaware that constructed a 12-6 lead with 10:31 to play within the fourth. The Blue Hens netted 5 of the primary six targets notched within the second half to succeed in that cushion, which proved insurmountable for Stony Brook.

“You’ve gotten some success final yr, and also you come again and it’s straightforward to perhaps relaxation in your laurels and anticipate it to come back to you,” DeLuca mentioned of the back-to-back championship. “Our guys started working proper off the bat.”

Delaware now treasures the work to come back because it enters one other NCAA playoff look. In 2022, the Hens dispatched Robert Morris in Newark with a 20-8 opening-round thumping earlier than the 10-9 upset of Georgetown arrange their season-ending 10-8 loss to seventh-seeded Cornell in Columbus, Ohio.

“Our guys will keep humble,” DeLuca mentioned. “They know that they need to earn all the things, however they’ve an excessive amount of expertise.”

The following part of that have will crystallize Sunday, Could 7, at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU when the NCAA Division I males’s lacrosse choice present reveals Delaware’s pairing and placement within the postseason bracket. If the CAA automated qualifier Blue Hens are slotted within the opening-round recreation that funnels into the winner’s ensuing assembly with the No. 1 total seed, the Hens would doubtless host the opener matchup Wednesday, Could 10 on Tubby Raymond Area.  

“It’s a gaggle of younger males who’re consistently striving for greatness and striving for one thing higher, the following step,” DeLuca mentioned about his squad, which has now gained 25 video games because the begin of the 2022 season. “This group did that. And we’re not completed but.”