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NEWARK, Del. --  A furious comeback from a first half deficit, a brilliant performance by a freshman goalkeeper in his first career start, and a goal with 1:04 left in the first overtime period all resulted in a thrilling victory for the University of Delaware men’s lacrosse squad Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens knocked off Monmouth 11-10 at Delaware Stadium.

Delaware sophomore Andrew Romagnoli scored his third goal of the game with 1:04 left in the first overtime to lift the Blue Hens (2-2) to the comeback victory in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

The Blue Hens scored six goals in the third quarter to overcome an early 5-2 deficit in a game that eventually saw the score tied six times in the second half. Delaware appeared to have the game won when Joe Eisele (at left) tallied his fourth goal of the game with 3:26 left but Monmouth (2-2) sent the game into overtime when Tyler Keen scored with 17 seconds left in regulation.

Monmouth won the opening faceoff in overtime and got two shots off but Delaware freshman goalkeeper Matt DeLuca (below right) saved both and the Hens regained possession.

After a timeout with 1:21 left, the Hens worked the ball around until Romagnoli slipped a shot from the left side from 15 yards out for the game winner, setting off a wild celebration on the field.

DeLuca, a freshman who had played just three minutes all season, did not find out he was making his first career start until the pre-game breakfast as Blue Hen starter Parker Ferrigan was home sick in bed. DeLuca finished with 15 saves to highlight a solid defensive effort.

“This was  gutsy win for our guys,” said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw. “We kept grinding away and made some plays. There are no easy teams out there so this was certainly a good win for us. We are pleased to walk away with the victory. It makes it even more exciting to win in this fashion after coming back from being down in the first half and winning in overtime. Our defense played great and Jake (Hervada) was a great against a very good faceoff specialist. We had complete confidence in Matt (DeLuca). We have two very good goalkeepers and while we are disappointed Parker couldn’t experience this today, we are excited for Matt. He made some great saves.”

The Hawks, who earlier this season knocked off nationally-ranked Villanova, jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second quarter and went into halftime up 5-2.

But the Hens scored five of the first six goals of the second half in a span of 10 minutes, including two by Romagnoli, to take a 7-6 lead. The game was tied two more times, setting up the overtime session.

Eisele finished with a game-high four goals while Romagnoli scored three times and dished out an assist, Will Hirschmann had a goal and two assists, and Charlie Kitchen had a goal and an assist. Hervada won 14 of 24 faceoffs for the Blue Hens.

Monmouth, which held a 42-29 advantage in shots, including a 20-12 first half edge, got three goals and an assist from Bryce Wasserman and two goals each from Keen and Dan Bloodgood.

• Shillinglaw won his 329th career game, including his 305th at Delaware
• The game was Delaware’s fifth overtime game since the 2015 season and first since a 6-5 loss to Drexel on Apr. 23, 2016
• Delaware will continue action Tuesday, Feb. 28, when the Hens head to VMI for a 3 p.m. game in Lexington, Va.
• Delaware freshman Charlie Kitchen is the first player in UD history to have multiple points in each of his first four career games
• Romagnoli has now scored a point in eight straight games since last season

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