PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse squad (3-4) will close non-conference action at Delaware (5-3) this Saturday, March 18. Opening face-off at Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del. is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The game will be streamed free of charge via BlueHens.com.
The Hawks have held their opposition to an average of 7.0 goals per game over their last four outings.
Saturday’s game will mark the 17th all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Delaware. The Blue Hens own a 13-3 all-time series advantage over the Hawks, but the Hawks are 3-2 under the direction of sixth-year head coach Taylor Wray and have won three straight, scoring 12 or more goals and holding the Blue Hens to under 10 in each contest.
After opening the season with a trio of losses to then-nationally-ranked teams, the Hawks are 3-1 against unranked opponents with wins over St. John's, Manhattan, and Monmouth and, most recently, a 12-8 setback at Drexel on Sunday.
Junior attackmen Jason Kelly (14g, 3a) and Chris Blewitt (12g, 5a) and senior midfielder Kevin Reidinger (12g, 2a) lead the squad in scoring while junior midfielder Hayes McGinley has dished out a team-high six assists.
Senior face-off specialist and Northeast Conference Player of the Week Danny Manning owns a 59.4 percent winning percentage from the X (63-for-106) while junior Austin Smith's 25 ground balls are a team-best. Senior defenseman Connor Kubikowski, who has earned the last two starts, has gone for 18 ground balls and a team-best seven caused turnovers while senior goalkeeper and NEC Defensive Player of the Week T.J. Jones (3-4) sports a .542 save percentage and 9.94 goals against average in 398:31.
Blewitt and Kelly have started all seven games up top, while Reidinger and junior Kyle Cain have started all seven in the midfield. Senior defenseman Charles Giunta has made all seven starts on the back line alongside Jones.
The Blue Hens opened the season by dropping two of their first three, with losses to Bucknell, 14-13, and then-#17/17 Navy, 11-5, with an 18-5 win over Mount St. Mary's sandwiched in between. From that point, Delaware won four in a row with an 11-10 overtime victory over Monmouth, a 15-9 win over VMI, a 13-10 win over Villanova, and a 12-9 win over Binghamton before seeing its four-game win streak snapped with a 13-9 home loss to Binghamton last Saturday.
Charlie Kitchen (18g, 11a) and Andrew Romagnoli (21g, 7a) lead the Blue Hens in scoring; Romagnoli put away the OT game-winner vs. Monmouth. Face-off specialist Jake Hervada has gone 68-for-134 (50.7%) from the X to go with a team-high 36 ground balls, while goalkeeper Matt Deluca (4-1) sports a 9.99 goals against average and .523 save percentage 306:12 and has made Delaware's last five starts. Goalkeeper Parker Ferrigan (1-2) made the first three starts of the season.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Saint Joseph's senior goalkeeper T.J. Jones and senior defensemen Charles Giunta and Shane Taggert have been selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate men's lacrosse, it was announced on Thursday afternoon. Twenty of the top NCAA men’s lacrosse student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates, and Saint Joseph's leads all NCAA Division I men's lacrosse programs with three candidates selected. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Read more here.