Delaware Offense Shows Up Too Late as #17 Blue Hens Drop 10-4 Top 20 Men’s Lacrosse Verdict to #11 Villanova

Delaware Offense Shows Up Too Late as #17 Blue Hens Drop 10-4 Top 20 Men’s Lacrosse Verdict to #11 Villanova

Delaware Offense Shows Up Too Late as #17 Blue Hens Drop 10-4 Top 20 Men’s Lacrosse Verdict to #11 Villanova

Delaware Offense Shows Up Too Late as #17 Blue Hens Drop 10-4 Top 20 Men’s Lacrosse Verdict to #11 Villanova

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- The offense showed up much too late Saturday evening and the University of Delaware paid the price as the No. 17 ranked Blue Hens had a three-game win streak snapped in a 10-4 men’s lacrosse setback to No. 11 Villanova at Villanova Stadium.



Delaware (7-4), which stands atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings, could not handle the Wildcats in the non-league affair as the Blue Hens were shutout for the first 42 minutes of the game and could never fully recover.



By the time Delaware finally got on the board late in the third quarter, the Hens already trailed 8-0 and three fourth quarter goals weren’t enough to complete a comeback.



Villanova (8-3), which was ranked as high as No. 5 nationally this season before dropping consecutive Big East setbacks to a pair of undefeated teams in No. 1 Syracuse and No. 2 Notre Dame, snapped a two-game losing streak and downed the Hens for the third straight time.



Eric Smith led the Blue Hens with a goal and assist, extending his point-scoring streak to 11 games, while Nick Elsmo (at right), John Mills (bottom left), and Grant Kaleikau also tallied. Dan Cooney won 10 of 18 faceoffs and also contributed an assist while goalkeeper Noah Fossner posted five saves for Delaware.



Seven different Wildcats got into the scoring act as Jack Rice scored three times and dished out an assist, Will Casertano scored twice and dished out one assist, and C.J. Small and Michael Vigilante each contributed a goal and two assists. Defensively, goalkeeper Billy Hurley made eight saves and Brian Karalunas, widely-regarded as one of the nation’s top stoppers, caused six turnovers and scooped up eight groundballs.



Delaware, which had won three straight conference games by a combined total of four goals, suffered through its lowest goal total of the season and had its lowest scoring output since a 5-4 loss to Villanova in 2009. The Hens were hoping to knock off their highest ranked road opponent since the 14-8 NCAA Tournament win over No. 2 Virginia back in 2007 but if never materialized.



After a scoreless opening eight minutes, Villanova went up 3-0 with three quick goals as Casertano scored with 6:04 left in the opening stanza and Small and Rice tallied 26 seconds apart in the final minute of play.



Goals by Vigilante, Rice, and Doherty in the second period upped the Villanova lead to 6-0 at the break and the Wildcats extended the lead to 8-0 late into the third stanza on a pair of man-up goals from Kevin O’Neil and Rice.



Delaware finally got on the board with 2:24 left in the third quarter when Elsmo took a feed from Brenden Gilson and netted a goal in his sixth straight game. Casertano pushed the Villanova lead back to 9-1 early in the final quarter before the Hens finally got it going with goals from Mills, Smith, and Kaleikau over the final 5:14 of action.



The Blue Hens will look to get back on the winning track Tuesday when they head to Danbury, Conn. to take on Dartmouth in a neutral site game at Western Connecticut State University at 1 p.m.

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