Delaware vs. Villanova
March 22, 2008
The Game Story:
NEWARK, DE -- The University of Delaware defense returned to form and NCAA scoring leader Curtis Dickson netted three goals as the No. 16 ranked Blue Hens opened defense of their 2007 Colonial Athletic Association title with an 8-4 men’s lacrosse victory over Villanova Saturday night at Rullo Stadium.

The Blue Hens (6-2, 1-0 CAA), who snapped a two-game losing streak, held Villanova scoreless for the first 32 minutes of the game on the way to a 5-0 lead and held on to down the Wildcats for the fourth straight time. Last season’s game was much different as the Hens rallied for a 19-18 victory that began Delaware’s late-season run to the CAA title and an NCAA national semifinal berth.

Dickson scored three goals to extend his NCAA leading total to 27, Cam Howard scored twice and dished out two assists, Vincent Giordano added a goal and an assist, and goalkeeper Tom Scherr posted 13 saves to spark the victory. Dickson also extended his goal-scoring streak to 16 straight games for the Blue Hens.

Villanova (1-7, 0-1 CAA), which lost its sixth straight game, got two goals and an assist from Tim Driscoll and a goal and an assist from Paul Webber. Goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto posted 13 saves in net. The Wildcats, who are yet to score in double figures this season, converted on just 1 of 8 extra-man opportunities and lost despite outshooting Delaware 35-33, including a 26-13 advantage in the second half.

The game was much different from the Blue Hens’ previous two outings in which Delaware lost to then No. 12 Georgetown 18-10 and to unranked Stony Brook 19-16. The 37 goals were the most allowed by the Hens in consecutive games since the 1997 season.

But this game was much different as the Blue Hen defense was stingy all night, holding Villanova scoreless on nine first half shots and jumping out to a 5-0 lead before Villanova got on the board on a man-up goal by Driscoll less than three minutes into the third quarter. Scherr, who picked up career win No. 31, was brilliant all night in the nets, helping Delaware allow its lowest goal total since a 19-4 win over Robert Morris last Apr. 28.

Delaware, which won its first-ever CAA Tournament title a year ago, extended its winning streak over league opponents to seven dating back to last season.

Neither team scored until the final minutes of the first quarter when Giordano took a feed from Howard and scored with just 2:33 left in the opening period. Dickson made it 2-0 with 43 seconds left on an unassisted goal.

The Hens extended the lead to 5-0 at the half as Martin Cahill scored with 5:22 left in the second quarter and Delaware netted two goals in the final minute with Beau Davis scoring off a Giordano feed with 37 seconds left and Dickson scoring his second goal with just two ticks left on the clock before the break.

Villanova cut the lead to 5-2 midway through the second half as Driscoll scored the Wildcats’ first goal 2:28 into the half and Webber tallied at the 9:38 mark. But the Hens squelched the rally as Howard scored just eight seconds later to extend the margin to 6-2 and then netted an unassisted goal with 4:53 left in the third quarter for a 7-2 advantage. Villanova got fourth quarter goals from Dan Liva and Driscoll, with Driscoll’s tally closing the gap to 7-4 with 2:28 left, but Dickson gave Delaware some insurance with a goal with 1:54 left to preserve the win.