HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – All week long, the focus in practice for the University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team was to compete for a full 60 minutes with a particular focus on finishing in the fourth quarter.

 

The Blue Hens did just that on Saturday with an absolute thrilling 10-9 road win over perennial CAA contender Hofstra behind a career-best day for sophomore Charlie Kitchen.

 

Halfway through CAA play is one of just two teams with two or more wins in league play. It’s just the second time since 2012 that the Blue Hens have won two or more CAA games.

 

“As a coaching staff, we are thrilled for our young men, who worked so hard all week and throughout today to earn this win,” head coach Ben DeLuca said. “We focused all week on competing for a full sixty-plus minutes, particularly finishing during the fourth quarter.

 

Kitchen’s strong play continued on Saturday afternoon when he scored a career-high five goals and tied a career-high with six points. It was his third hat trick in the past four games and the seventh of his career. He has now scored a goal in 14 consecutive games and 25 of his 26 career games played.

 

“Charlie, in particular, had an outstanding game and led the way for our offensive unit today,” DeLuca said. “He was very opportunistic, creating for himself and for his teammates and took full advantage of his scoring opportunities.”

 

His attack mate Joe Eisele notched his second hat trick of the year with three goals, while seniors Dean DiSimone and Will Hirschmann combined for three assists on the afternoon.

 

Sophomore goalkeeper Matt DeLuca was huge down the stretch and finished with 12 saves in the contest.

 

“Our young men played unselfishly and executed with tremendous effort and discipline in the first quarter. Our captains and seniors helped to maintain that effort and focus through the final whistle,” Coach DeLuca added.

 

The Blue Hens came out firing with two scores in the first 2:12 of action to claim a quick 2-0 lead behind goals from Eisele and sophomore Bryce Reid.

 

After Hofstra answered with one, Delaware poured it on with four more first quarter goals, three by Kitchen, to take a 6-2 lead after the first 15 minutes of action.

 

With two more goals in the first seven minutes of the second half, Eisele completed his hat trick to give the Blue Hens an 8-3 advantage.

 

Hofstra began its run with two goals at the end of the second quarter and continued it with two more at the start of the third quarter to make it a one-goal game at 8-7 with five minutes to play in the third.

 

Kitchen’s fourth goal of the day came with under a minute remaining in the third to send Delaware into the final quarter with a 9-7 cushion.

 

Tewaarton Watch List honoree Ryan Tierney scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to even things up at 9-9.

 

Kitchen would quickly answer with a goal just over two minutes later to grab the 10-9 lead.

 

The Blue Hens defense went to work from there, stifling any Hofstra scoring chance and holding on for the thrilling victory.

 

Delaware returns to the road next Saturday when it heads to preseason CAA favorite Towson. Game time is set for 12 p.m.