University of Delaware Menís Lacrosse Headed to Hofstra Wednesday for Colonial Athletic Association Semifinals
But as tough as the test might seem, the Blue Hens have been here before and flourished.
The last time Delaware advanced to the CAA semifinals in 2011, the Blue Hens were the No. 4 seed and downed the Pride in Hempstead with a thrilling 10-9 victory. Three days later, the Hens traveled to Amherst, Mass. and downed the host Minutemen 9-7 to win the CAA crown and earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
Head coach Bob Shillinglaw and his upstart Blue Hens hope to follow that script again Wednesday night as they look to avenge an 11-9 loss to the Pride back on Mar. 15 in Hempstead.
“We are excited (to be going to the CAA Tournament),” said Shillinglaw, whose team earned the fourth and final CAA Tournament playoff berth with a 15-7 win over UMass Friday night. “We have a major challenge ahead against Hofstra but we are juiced. We can’t wait to head up to Hofstra and see what happens. I know our guys will be ready.”
Delaware will be making its seventh appearance in the CAA Tournament since joining the league in 2002 and will be looking to capture its fourth league crown. The Blue Hens also won CAA titles in 2007, 2010, and 2011 and also advanced to the league title game two other times.
Hofstra, which captured CAA titles in 2006 and 2008, enters the game coming off an 8-7 loss to Penn State Saturday which snapped a six-game winning streak.
Delaware is led offensively by attackman Dan Keane (25 goals), midfielder Brian Kormondy (16 goals, 13 assists), and Beau Jones (11 goals, 13 assists) and defensively by seniors James Connelly and Trip Ashley and by sophomore goalkeeper Conor Peaks (9.11 goals against average, .542 save pct.). Faceoff specialists Tyler Barbarich (.627) and Tyler Mardian (.556) make up one of the nation’s most successful combinations on the draw.
Hofstra is led offensively by Sam Llinares (18 goals, 32 assists), Torin Varn (28 goals), Drew Coholan (20 goals), and Mike Malave (23 goals) and defensively by Finn Sullivan and goalkeeper Chris Selva (8.33 GAA, .500 save pct.). The Pride lead the CAA in scoring defense (8.33 goals per game) and rank third nationally with just 11.7 turnovers per game.