Romagnoli, Kitchen lead Blue Hens Past Villanova
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- The red-hot University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team enacted a little revenge on Villanova Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium.
Behind strong performances from attackmen Andrew Romagnoli (four goals) and Charlie Kitchen (two goals, three assists), Delaware took the lead for good midway through the first period and fought off several Villanova comeback attempts to win its third straight game with a 13-10 victory.
Delaware, which had lost two straight to the Wildcats, including a tough 23-13 setback last year at Delaware Stadium, continued its impressive play on the road as the Hens remained unbeaten away from home (3-0) this year and won their fourth straight road contest dating back to last season.
"This was a huge win for the team today," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw. "I am extremely proud of the focus and work ethic our guys put in to win today. Associate head coach Byron Collins has done a fantastic job with the offense (averaging 13 goals a game) and defensive coordinator Dana Wilber had the defense playing exceptional against an extremely explosive Villanova offense. We will enjoy this for a brief moment then start preparing for Tuesday's (home) game vs. Manhattan."
Delaware (4-2) also got key contributions from freshman goalie Matt DeLuca, who posted 15 saves in his third straight start, senior midfielder Steve DeLargy, who posted his second straight hat trick with three goals, and sophomore middie Joe Eisele, who tallied twice.
Villanova (1-4) held the edge in shots (46-38), groundballs (30-27), and faceoffs (17-10) but the Blue Hens turned the ball over a season-low seven times - its lowest total since the 2013 season - while forcing 12 turnovers themselves.
Jack Curran led the Wildcats with four goals but no other Villanova player netted more than one. Brothers Jake and Joey Frocarro, who combined to score eight goals vs. the Hens a year ago, combined for just one goal on this day.
The Blue Hens enjoyed a 5-3 lead following the first quarter and eventually extended that lead to 7-3 midway through the second. Facing a four-goal deficit, the Wildcats turned up the pressure, scoring three times in the final five minutes of the quarter to slash the UD lead to 7-6 at the half.
Following the half time break, Nova made a switch in the nets, replacing starting goalkeeper Nick Testa for Dan Willis. In the end, the switch did not provide Nova with the spark they needed as Delaware struck for six-second half goals, and four in the fourth quarter, to post the victory.
• Today’s victory over Villanova evens the all-time series at 11-11 as the Hens won for the first time since 2014
• The Blue Hens have started the season 3-0 on the road, outscoring opponents 49-24.
• Romagnoli has scored a point in 10 consecutive games dating back to last season and now has recorded a hat trick in five out of six games this season.
• Delaware has now won four straight road games dating back to last season. This is the team longest road-winning streak since 2007-08 when they won six straight away from Delaware Stadium.
• Kitchen has now recorded multiple points in each of his first six collegiate games, a UD record.
• Since taking over the starting job three games ago, Deluca has recorded wins in all three starts, and has complied 38 saves (12.67 GAA)
• Today’s win was the 500th victory in program history.
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