Delaware vs. Sacred Heart
April 8, 2009
The Game Story:
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware dominated in every facet of the game, but the Blue Hens needed fourth quarter goals from freshmen Grant Kaleikau (at right) and Justin Martinelli to post their first Colonial Athletic Association victory of the season with a 7-6 men's lacrosse win over Sacred Heart Wednesday night at Rullo Stadium.

All-American Curtis Dickson led the Blue Hens with three goals and extended his three-year point-scoring streak to 37 games while Kaleikau tallied his first two goals of the season as Delaware (4-8, 1-2 CAA) won for the second time in three games and moved back into the race for a post-season tournament berth. Dickson recorded his 14th career hat trick.

Sacred Heart (3-8, 1-3 CAA), which lost its third straight game, got two goals each from Bobby Rushton and Dan Casciano and three assists from Evan Morgan. Pioneer goalkeeper Zack Frank was brilliant in goal, stopping 22 shots to keep Sacred Heart in the game.

Delaware posted commanding advantages in shots (46-20), groundballs (41-25), and faceoffs (14-3), but Sacred Heart scored three man-up goals to keep it close in a game that featured five ties. Delaware’s Tommy Lee won 13 of 15 faceoffs as the Hens held possession for much of the game. Delaware sophomore Pat Dowling forced two of Sacred Heart’s 22 turnovers to up his two-year total to 34, tying the UD career mark set by Evan Crowther-Washburn last season.

Sacred Heart had taken a 6-5 lead into the final quarter, but the Hens rallied as Kaleikau scored his second goal of the night just 2:29 into the final stanza and Martinelli scored his first career goal just two minutes later for what proved to be the game-winner.

The Hens clinched the win when junior midfielder D.J. Widlake intercepted an errant crossing pass by Casciano just before the final horn. Sacred Heart had gained possession with 1:21 left but a shot by Tim Russo was saved by Delaware’s Noah Fossner with 50 seconds remaining. The Pioneers recovered the ball after a UD turnover and called a timeout with 13 seconds left. Jon Flood’s shot with five seconds was high and Sacred Heart kept possession but could never get another shot off.

The win moved Delaware into a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot for the CAA semifinals on April 2. Delaware closes out the season with games at Robert Morris this Saturday, at home vs. Towson on Apr. 18, and at last place Drexel on April 25.

Delaware took a 2-1 advantage after one quarter as Kaleikau scored his first career goal just 63 seconds into the game and Dickson tallied with 9:33 left. Sacred Heart got on the board with a man-up goal by Casciano off a Morgan feed at the 12:01 mark.

The Pioneers took control in the second quarter by scoring three straight goals as Dennis Gannon scored with 13:32 left and Rushton scored twice in a span of five minutes. The Hens cut the SHU lead to 4-3 at the half on a goal by Dickson into an unattended net with just 12 seconds left before halftime.

Delaware went back up 5-4 midway through the third quarter on goals by John Austin and Dickson, but Sacred Heart came back to take the lead again as Casciano tied the score at 5-5 on a goal with 5:51 left in the stanza and gained a 6-5 advantage thanks to a man-up goal by Timmy Katz with just seven seconds left in the quarter. Kaleikau scored his second goal of the game with 12:31 left to play to tie the game for the fifth time before Martinelli made his first career goal a game-winner at the 10:32 mark. Neither team scored the rest of the way.