No. 18 University of Delaware Laxers Hope to Continue Hot Streak Saturday at CAA Rival Drexel
March 31, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
PHILADELPHIA -- The No. 18 ranked University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team will be looking to continue its hot streak and build its lead atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens travel to rival Drexel for a 1 p.m. showdown at Vidas Field.
Delaware, which moved back into the national rankings this week thanks to consecutive one-goal wins over league foes Hofstra and Towson, brings in a record of 6-3 and is tied in the league standings with No. 20 Penn State, which is 2-0 (4-4 overall) heading into a non-league game at Lehigh Saturday.
Drexel enters with a record of 5-4 (1-1 CAA) is coming off an 11-6 loss to No. 8 ranked Hofstra last Saturday, a team the Blue Hens defeated 7-6 when the Pride was ranked fourth nationally back on March 12.
The Hens, whose last four wins have all been by a single goal, moved into first place in the CAA thanks to the 7-6 win over Hofstra and a 8-7 victory over Towson last Saturday. Delaware trailed early in both games, going down 2-0 to Hofstra in the first four minutes and trailing Towson 5-0 deep into the first period last week.
Against Drexel, the Hens will be attempting to down the Dragons for the third straight time and improve to 3-0 in league play for the first time since joining the CAA in 2002 and for the first time since opening 4-0 in the America East conference in 2000. The Hens have also defeated seven straight league opponents since a setback to Hofstra last season, and have not downed eight straight league foes since a stretch of 11 straight wins that lasted over three seasons in 1998-2000.
The Blue Hens are led offensively by junior Eric Smith, who has scored a point in every game this season and has 14 goals (four game-winners) and 12 assists, and on defense by senior defender Pat Dowling (at right) and this week’s CAA Player of the Week Noah Fossner, the Hens’ All-CAA senior goalkeeper who stopped 10 shots vs. Towson last week. Delaware ranks third nationally with 11.4 caused turnovers per game and 11th with 35.0 groundballs per game .
Drexel, which leads the CAA in scoring offense at 11.1 goals per game, is paced by the league’s top goal-scorer in Scott Perri (25 goals) as well as Robert Church (14 goals and 14 assists). Defensively, All-American goalkeeper Mark Manos allowed 8.5 goals per game while recording a .563 save percentage.