Saint Joseph's vs. Delaware
February 5, 2010
The Game Story:
PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Delaware men's lacrosse team enjoyed yet another opening day win Friday afternoon as the senior trio of Curtis Dickson, Martin Cahill, and Pat Lombard (at right) combined for 10 goals and led the Blue Hens to an easy 15-5 victory over host Saint Joseph's at Finnesy Field.

Delaware (1-0), which has now defeated Saint Joseph's in all 10 meetings in the series, including each of the last eight on opening day, jumped out to a 5-1 halftime lead and never looked back as the Hens got off to a quick start for what promises to be a successful season.

Dickson, an All-American and three-time All-Colonial Athletic Association attackman, netted four goals and dished out an assist while Cahill, a two-time All-CAA midfielder, scored three times and Pat Lombard bounced back from an injury that wiped out most of his 2009 season by netting three goals.

The Hens, who return 28 letterwinners and five of the top six scorers from last year's squad that struggled to a 5-10 mark, held a slim 39-32 advantage in shots but dominated on faceoffs, turned the ball over just 10 times, and scored three man-up goals in a complete effort.

The Hawks (0-1), who went 6-9 a year ago and are looking for their first winning season since 2000 this spring, got two goals each from Sean Evans and Joey D'Avanzo.

As has been the case in most of the Delaware vs. Saint Joseph’s season openers over the last eight years, the game marked the first NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse game played this spring. The game was moved up a day from its originally scheduled date of Feb. 6 due to the threat of a snowstorm expected to hit the region on Friday night.

Delaware got points from 11 different players as Dickson recorded his 16th career hat trick and extended his point-scoring streak to 41 straight game since 2007, Cahill notched his 10th hat trick, and Lombard posted his second.

Senior Chris Hichborn also scored twice, Brad Zink dished out two assists, and Tommy Lee, one the nation’s top returning faceoff specialists, scored a goal and won 11 of 16 faceoff attempts. Goalkeeper Noah Fossner was solid in goal, turning back 12 shots and allowing just two goals over the first 35 minutes of action.

The game was evenly matched over the first 19 minutes as Cahill and Saint Joseph’s Scott Cullinane provided the only scoring in the first quarter and a goal by the Hawks’ Evans just over three minutes into the second stanza knotted the score at 2-2.

The Blue Hens scored the final three goals of the half, including a man-up score by Lombard with 6:43 left, to take a 5-2 lead into the break and Lombard tallied his second goal three minutes into the third quarter for a 6-2 advantage. But Saint Joseph’s stayed close as consecutive goals by D’Avanzo four minutes apart cut the lead to 6-4 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

But Delaware answered just eight seconds later as Dan Cooney won the faceoff and fed Dickson, who scored his third goal of the game and ignited what would become a pivotal eight-goal run that put the game away. Delaware built the lead to 14-4 before a goal by Evans with 3:10 left to play ended a 17:48 drought for the Hawks.

Delaware will return to action next Saturday when the Hens take on Presbyterian in its home opener at 1 p.m. at Rullo Stadium. The game will be only one played in Rullo this season by the UD men, who will play the remainder of the schedule on the new FieldTurf surface at 22,000-seat Delaware Stadium.