NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware men's lacrosse squad got the 2009 season off to fast start Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens scored five goals in the first five minutes and cruised to a 13-2 win over Saint Joseph's in the season opener for both teams at Rullo Stadium.
All-American Curtis Dickson, who missed much of the pre-season with nagging injuries, scored three of his game-high four goals in that opening five-minute stretch and Martin Cahill and Pat Lombard each chipped in two goals apiece as the Hens (1-0) downed the Hawks (0-1) for the ninth straight time without a loss.
Dickson, a junior from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia and the pre-season Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, scored a team-high 46 goals a year ago and now has 11 career hat tricks.
The win gave Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw his 250th career victory with the Blue Hens, making him only the eighth men’s coach in NCAA Division I to win that many games at one schools. Shillinglaw, a two-time national Coach of the Year, is now 250-223 in his 31st season at UD and 274-240 in his 24th season overall. His 514 career games coached is an NCAA record.
Delaware outshot the Hawks by a commanding 41-21 margin, including 29-6 in the first half as the Hens led 9-1 at the break. The Blue Hen defense forced the Hawks into 30 turnovers and 10 failed clear attempts and sophomore Noah Fossner (bottom right) made nine saves in first collegiate start in goal for UD. Led by Tommy Lee, the Hens also held a 13-5 advantage in faceoffs.
Eight different Delaware players scored goals as Josh Coveleski and D.J. Widlake each scored once and dished out an assist and Beau Davis, John Austin, and Carter Bloor each got on the board once. Andrew Unthank had a game-high three assists as well for the Hens.
Delaware, the pre-season No. 2 pick in the Colonial Athletic Association, is now 9-0 all-time against Saint Joseph's, including a perfect 4-0 mark at Rullo Stadium where the average win margin has been 14.0 goals per game for the Hens. Saint Joseph’s, which has now lost eight straight season openers, is looking to bounce back from a 4-11 record a year ago.
The two goals allowed by the Hens was its lowest total since defeating Lehigh 9-2 last March 25 and the least allowed at home since downing Wagner 16-2 on February 28, 2006.
The Hens got to Saint Joseph’s senior All-MAAC goalkeeper Erik Hotaling early as Dickson scored just 40 seconds into the game and he and Cahill tallied just three seconds apart - a school record for fastest consecutive goals scored - one minute later for a 3-0 lead.
Griffin Ferrigan (10 saves) replaced Hotaling and Delaware greeted him with back-to-back goals by Dickson and Austin just five seconds apart - the second fastest pair of goals in school history - at the 10:40 mark for a 5-0 lead.
An extra-man goal by Davis upped the Delaware lead to 6-0 with 9:58 left in the opening stanza before the Hawks finally got on the board on a goal by Joe D’Avanzo - the Hawks’ first shot of the game - at the 3:03 mark. A goal by Delaware’s Lombard with 1:18 left in the first quarter and goals by Cahill and Bloor in the second stanza sent the Hens up 9-1 at the break.
Delaware scored the first four goals of the second half to push the lead to 13-1 as Widlake scored the game’s only goal of the third quarter, and Dickson, Lombard, and Coveleski scored within a span of 2:30 midway through the final quarter.
The Hawks finally got on the board again with 3:33 left when last year’s team’s scoring leader, Scott Cullinan, tallied off a feed from Matt Dougherty.
|Curtis Dickson||(4, 0)|
|Andrew Unthank||(0, 3)|
|Dj Widlake||(1, 1)|
|Martin Cahill||(2, 0)|
|Josh Coveleski||(1, 1)|
|Pat Lombard||(2, 0)|
|Dom Sebastiani||(0, 1)|
|Anthony Ruiz||(0, 1)|
|Kevin Kaminski||(0, 1)|
|Beau Davis||(1, 0)|
|Carter Bloor||(1, 0)|
|John Austin||(1, 0)|
|Noah Fossner||9 (0.818)|