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AMHERST, Mass. --- The University of Delaware held the lead early in the fourth quarter, but a tough day at the faceoff circle and seven penalties proved to be the Blue Hens’ undoing in a 9-6 loss to host Massachusetts in both team’s Colonial Athletic Association opener at chilly Garber Field Saturday afternoon.

Delaware (7-4, 0-1 CAA), which was coming off a historic 13-9 win over then No. 1 ranked Rutgers last Saturday, could not continue the momentum as Massachusetts scored the final four goals of the game to pull out the win.

The game was played in frigid 35-degree conditions with a mix of snow and sleet and 13 mile-per-hour winds.

The Blue Hens, who got two goals from senior Steve DeLargy (at left) and a goal and three assists from Andrew Romagnoli, had beaten Massachusetts (4-5, 1-0 CAA) each of the past three seasons.

Delaware goalkeeper Matt DeLuca stopped nine shots and lost for just the second time in eight starts this season.

Will Hirschmann (below right), Alex Brunner, and Charlie Kitchen each added a goal for Delaware.

The Minutemen, who have had each of their last five games decided by three goals or less, won 15 of 18 faceoffs and forced 16 turnovers. Jeffrey Trainor and Tyler Bogart scored two goals each to lead UMass.

“It was a typical CAA game with both teams leaving it on the field,” said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw. “UMass was excellent on faceoffs and we were not as efficient clearing the ball. Offensively we had more turnovers than we normally do. All of this added up to more possessions for the opponent than normal. Throw in seven penalties and UMass has more opportunities to score and pull it out at the end. We have to continue to work hard and improve as a very strong Hofstra team comes to town for Senior Day next Saturday.”

Delaware freshman Kitchen scored a goal with 35 seconds left in the third quarter and DeLargy tallied for the second time two minutes into the final quarter to give the Blue Hens a 6-5 lead. But that would be the end of the offense for Delaware.

UMass’ Jake Marino tied the game at 6-6 on a goal with 10:26 left in the final quarter and the Minutemen took the lead for good on a tally by Trainer two minutes later. Goals by Grant Consoletti and Trainor over the final 7:33 secured the victory.

• Romagnoli has now scored a point in 15 straight games
• Kitchen also dished out an assist and now has scored at least two points in all 11 games this season. He is one of only two freshmen in NCAA Division I who have scored multiple points in every game this season
• Delaware entered the game ranked No. 16 in the NCAA in scoring offense at 12.10 goals per game and was held in single figures for just the third time this season
• The Hens return home next Saturday when they CAA foe Hofstra at 1 p.m. as part of Senior Day at Delaware Stadium. Hofstra is 8-0 and ranked No. 6 (USILA) nationally heading into Saturday night's game vs. Fairfield

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