NEWARK, Del. – Delaware held SJU to just one goal in over 34 minutes of play that spanned from late in the first quarter to late in the third to hand the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse squad its second loss of the season, 14-6, at Delaware Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The Hawks fall to 2-2 while the Blue Hens remain undefeated at 4-0.
Of note, Delaware entered the game as the nation's leader in scoring defense at a clip of 5.33 goals allowed per contest.
Junior defenseman Liam Hare was dominant on both ends of the ball, going for a goal and an assist with a team-high four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Sophomore attackman Nate Patterson recorded one goal and one assist to propel the Hawks' first-half offense while freshman long stick midfielder Matt Popeck, sophomore midfielders Teo Domic and Nick Vernacchio, and freshman midfielder Zach Mantei added goals.
"We got off to a slow start, and we made way too many mental mistakes today," said head coach Taylor Wray following the game. "That's on me to get cleaned up. At 7-3 coming out of the half, we had an opportunity off the face-off to score. Their guy made a save, and we didn't see that ball again until we had given up another 3-4 goals. Mental mistakes, failed clears, and getting out-scrapped on the ground did us in."
The Blue Hens outshot the Hawks 49-31 with a 31-16 second half. Saint Joseph's landed 19 of those 31 shots on goal, but Delaware goalkeeper Matt DeLuca made 12 saves in just under a complete-game effort.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Adler (2-2) made 13 saves in 59:02, including a handful of back-to-back stops on the doorstep.
Delaware opened the scoring on Tye Kurtz's first of a game-high five goals on the day (1Q, 13:58) before sophomore midfielder Evan Campbell found Patterson for the equalizer (1Q, 9:36).
The Blue Hens answered less than a minute later, but the Hawks again equalized as Hare found Popeck for the rookie's first collegiate score (1Q, 6:11).
From that point, Delaware scored five in a row before a Domic goal from Patterson on the EMO broke up the Hawks' scoring drought at the 5:02 mark of the second quarter; the Hawks drew four EMOs on the day but converted on that lone man-up play.
The Blue Hens fired off five more unanswered goals to take a 12-3 advantage into the final 19:14 of regulation.
Saint Joseph's outscored Delaware, 3-2, in the fourth quarter on unassisted goals from Vernacchio (11:17), Hare (10:25), who picked off Delaware near the midfield, juked his defender, and hit the back of the net from 20 yards out, and Mantei (0:04), who scored his first collegiate goal, but that 14-6 score would stand as time expired.
Saint Joseph's returns home to host Monmouth this Saturday, March 2. Opening face-off is set for 3:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
"We will have to address all of those things quickly," added Wray. "We have to respond well in order to be ready for Monmouth in three short days."