Drexel vs. Delaware
May 2, 2007
The Game Story:
PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Delaware is headed back to the Colonial Athletic Association men's lacrosse championship game.

No. 17 Delaware won its fourth straight game Wednesday night as the Blue Hens got four goals and an assist from Adam Zuder-Havens and a stellar defensive effort to down No. 15 Drexel 11-7 in a CAA semifinal game at Vidas Field.

The No. 3 seed Blue Hens (10-5) will face top seed and No. 14 Towson, an 11-5 winner over Hofstra in the the other semifinal game, Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson, MD.

Delaware avenged an 11-7 loss to the Dragons on the same field back on April 4. In that game, Drexel broke a third quarter deadlock by outscoring the Hens 4-0 in the final quarter.

"We played an excellent game tonight," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who will lead his team into the finals for the the third straight year after falling to Towson in 2005 and Hofstra last season. "Drexel manhandled us up here last month and they have a good offense. But we did a good job of preparing for them defensively, we were aggressive, and we created turnovers. We played much cleaner tonight and we kept our turnovers to a minimum. We always play hard but we don't always put four quarters together. Tonight we did."

Delaware will be looking to win its first-ever CAA Tournament title and its first league crown since winning the 1999 America East title. The CAA champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Hens could receive an at-large berth even with a loss in the title game.

Zuder-Havens, the team's leading scorer entering the game with 25 goals, led the Blue Hen offensive attack with four goals and an assist while Kevin Kaminski scored twice, and Alex Smith and Vincent Giordano (at right) each recorded a goal and an assist.

Smith, a two-time All-American who holds the NCAA career faceoff win record and has led the nation in the category each of the last three season, won 13 of 22 faceoffs and scooped up seven groundballs.

Defensively, Delaware goalkeeper Tommy Scherr recorded 12 saves and the Hens held CAA scoring leader Andrew Chapman (41 goals) to just one goal and one assist on 16 shots on goal. Drexel, which held a 46-33 advantage in shots, got two goals from Greg Casey.

Zuder-Havens scored the first two goals of the game 45 seconds apart early in the opening quarter for a 2-0 Delaware lead but Drexel answered back, getting goals from Joe Variano and Bryan Brodzik to tie things at 2-2 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.

Jordan Hall, who extended his point-scoring streak to 27 straight games, gave the Hens the lead for good on a goal with 30 seconds left in the quarter to start a 5-0 run that resulted in a 5-2 Delaware lead at halftime and a 7-2 advantage heading into the final stanza.

Drexel finally ended a scoring drought of over 35 minutes when Casey scored a goal with 12:35 left to play and Kevin Dart and Chapman followed with successive goals as Drexel narrowed the lead to 7-5 with 7:58 left.

But Smith won the ensuing faceoff, scooped up the groundball, and raced to the net, shooting past Drexel goalkeeper Brian Bickford for his fifth goal of the season to extend the lead to 8-5 with 7:44 left.

Drexel cut the lead to two goals once more when Dan Layfield scored with 6:10 left, but the Hens came right back again 10 seconds later to increase the lead to 9-6 as Smith again won the faceoff and fed Zuder-Havens for the score.

The Dragons cut the lead to 10-7 with three minutes left on a goal by Casey, but Zuder-Haven struck again, scoring his fourth goal of the game with 1:41 remaining.