Blue Hens Drop Hard-Fought 8-6 Verdict to Top Seed Hofstra in CAA Men's Lacrosse Semifinals
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The University of Delaware men's lacrosse squad made the most of its possessions during its Colonial Athletic Association Tournament semifinal game at top seed Hofstra Wednesday night.
The problem was that the Hens just couldn't get enough of them.
The result was a hard-fought 8-6 setback to the Pride in a torrential rainstorm at Shuart Stadium, ending the Blue Hens' 2014 season.
Delaware scored six goals on its season-low 15 shots, but won just 4 of 18 faceoffs and was hurt by 17 turnovers. The Hens had taken a 4-2 lead at halftime despite putting just six shots on goal.
Delaware (7-9), making its first CAA Tournament appearance since winning its second straight title in 2011, almost pulled off a big upset but fell short against the 13th ranked Pride (11-4), who won for the sixth time in their last seven games.
"I thought we were playing a pretty good gameplan," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw. "We had six shots at halftime with four goals. We were taking good shots, getting the looks that we wanted, and we weren't forcing the situation. Hofstra is a very talented team and they got a couple of pretty good shots. We are disappointed but this is a good group. Our defense played its heart out and I felt we had a couple of pretty good looks but we just didn't test their goalie enough."
Sam Llinares and Ryan Rielly each scored two goals for Hofstra while Chris Selva made three saves and Kris Clarke won 14 of 18 faceoffs.
Hofstra moves on to the CAA title game on Saturday where the Pride will host the winner of the other semifinal game between No. 2 seed Drexel and No. 3 seed Towson that will be played Thursday at 12 noon. That game was postponed Wednesday night due to heavy rains in Philadelphia.
The Blue Hens jumped out to a 4-2 lead at halftime and still held a share of the lead at 5-5 with 11:23 left in the third quarter. Delaware pulled to within 7-6 on a goal by freshman DeLargy with 11:09 remaining but the Hens couldn't find the back of the net again as Hofstra got an insurance goal from Llinares with 8:50 left.
DeLargy and Keane each scored two first half goals to tie the game at 2-2 after the first quarter but the Hens controlled the second stanza and got goals from Keane and Kormondy to take a 4-2 advantage into the break.
But the third quarter belonged to the Pride. After Hofstra's Rielly and Delaware's Heath traded goals in the first three minutes to narrow the UD lead to 5-3, Hofstra reeled off four straight goals to take control at 7-5.
The Pride netted four goals in a span of just five minutes and 20 seconds and went ahead for good on a goal by Drew Coholan with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
Delaware, which had won four straight CAA Tournament games since falling to Hofstra in the 2008 semifinals, was looking to capture its first CAA crown since the 2011 season. The Hens lost to the Pride for the second time this season after also dropping an 11-9 decision back on Mar. 15 in Hempstead.
"We felt confident with this team," said Shillinglaw. "I knew they were going to give us a great effort tonight, but we just couldn't capitalize."
Keane scored a goal for the 10th straight game and finished as the team's leading scorer with 27 on the season. Kormondy finished the season scoring at least one point in all 16 games.
Tyler Mardian handed the faceoff chores for the Hens, who went without the services of regular Tyler Barbarich, who injured his shoulder in Delaware's 15-7 win over Massachusetts Friday. Barbarich ranked fifth in the nation in faceoff winning pct. with a success rate of 63.8 percent.