Delaware vs. Saint Joseph's
February 10, 2007
The Game Story:
NEWARK, DE -- Senior Dan Deckelbaum and junior Marty Kupprion (at right) each scored four goals and junior Vincent Giordano also registered the hat trick with three scores as the University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team overwhelmed Saint Joseph’s 23-6 Saturday afternoon at Rullo Stadium for its most one-sided season opener in school history.

Delaware, ranked No. 19 in the pre-season Inside Lacrosse/Faceoff Yearbook poll and coming off a 2006 season that saw the squad go 12-5 and advance to the Colonial Athletic Association finals for the second straight year, got scoring from 16 different players and never looked back after jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the second quarter on their way to the win.

Delaware (1-0) defeated Saint Joseph’s (0-1) for the seventh time without a loss as the teams opened the NCAA men’s lacrosse national schedule for the fifth straight season. The game also marked the earliest season opener in Delaware history.

The Blue Hens’ 23 goals was their highest total since defeating Hartford 23-11 in the 2000 America East conference semifinals and the 17-goal win margin was its largest since defeating Hartford 25-5 during the regular season in 1999. The 23 goals was also the highest total scored on opening day in UD history, surpassing a 22-7 win over St. John’s back in 1991.

The pre-season favorite to capture the CAA title, the Blue Hens scored at least five goals in each quarter, outshot the Hawks by a commanding 62-15 margin, and won 26 of 32 faceoffs.

The Hawks, who won their final five games to end the 2006 season with a 6-9 mark, got two goals each from Peter Slowik and Sean Cullinan while Alex Lopes and Steve O’Brien each dished out two assists. Goalkeeper Erik Hotaling posted 20 saves in the loss.

Deckelbaum, who led the Hens with 31 goals a year ago, led the Hens with four goals and also dished out an assist while Kupprion scored four goals against the Hawks for the second straight year. Giordano added a three goals and one assist while Chris Hichborn scored twice, and Beau Davis, Nick LoManto, Adam Zuder-Havens, and Jordan Hall each had multiple-point games.

All-American senior Alex Smith, who has led the NCAA in faceoff winning percentage each of the past two seasons, won 26 of 29 faceoff attempts.

Delaware’s Adam Zuder-Havens scored just nine seconds into the game and Deckelbaum scored twice in the opening quarter as the Hens built a 5-0 lead after one period. The Hens then outscored the Hawks 7-1 in the second half, thanks to two goals each from Giordano and Kupprion, to build a 12-1 lead heading into intermission.

The UD lead was at 9-0 before Saint Joseph’s scored its first goal of the game on a tally by Cullinan with 4:18 left in the half.

The Hens outscored Saint Joseph’s 5-0 in the third quarter to take a 17-1 lead and were up 22-2 before Saint Joseph’s scored four of the game’s final five goals over the last 7:36 of the contest.