NEWARK, Del. - Tied 4-4 at halftime, the Blue Hens outscored the Hawks 8-3 in the second half as the Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse squad fell at Delaware, 12-7, at Delaware Stadium on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Hawks close the non-conference schedule at 3-5 while the Blue Hens improve to 6-3.
Senior midfielder Ray Vandegrift led SJU with two goals while junior attackman Jason Kelly added a goal and an assist. Junior Austin Smith continued to dominate on the defensive end, scooping up a game-high seven ground balls to go with a game-high two caused turnovers.
Delaware jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of scores assisted by Trupert Orelieb (12:49, 2:35) before senior Danny Manning won the face-off and put away his first of the season just six seconds after the Blue Hens' second goal to close the Hawks' deficit to one, 2-1, by the end of the first quarter.
Junior attackman Chris Blewitt opened the second quarter scoring with an equalizer at the 13:30 mark, but Delaware put away another pair of quick goals (11:25, 8:16) to pull back ahead by two, 4-2.
Vandegrift netted his first of the day (7:34) before junior attackman Patrick O'Brien found Kelly for the man-up equalizer at the 4:33 mark to even up the scoring heading into the halftime break.
The Blue Hens took advantage of a late second-quarter offsides call against the Hawks and an additional push call just minutes into the third to convert a pair of EMOs by the 12:07 mark, en route to a 4-1 run to dominate most of the third quarter and to take an 8-5 advantage entering the final 5:27 of the third.
Vandegrift stopped Delaware's scoring with his second of the day at the 2:01 mark to pull the Hawks to within two goals, 8-6, but the Blue Hens' Charlie Kitchen put away his third of the day to send Delaware into the final quarter with the three-goal advantage.
UDel's Andrew Romagnoli was the difference-maker in the fourth, as he extended the Blue Hens' lead by five, 11-6, with scores at the 8:20 mark and 5:02 mark.
Senior midfielder Marcus Milione tucked away his first goal of the season with 3:57 to play to bring SJU to its seventh goal of the day, but Romagnoli scored his game-leading fourth of the game with 44 ticks remaining on the scoreboard as the 12-7 score would stand as time expired.
For the game, Delaware held a 41-29 edge in shots, including a 15-5 advantage in the third quarter. The Blue Hens held a 28-26 edge in ground balls, including an 11-5 third quarter, and went a perfect 17-for-17 in clear attempts while holding SJU to 13-of-18 in clears.
The Hawks went 12-of-22 from the face-off; SJU won 5-of-6 in the second quarter, but Delaware responded by earning five of seven possessions in the third. Manning won all 12 of SJU's possessions in 20 opportunities, while sophomore Daniel Lanham also made a pair of appearances in the circle.
Senior goalkeeper T.J. Jones (3-5) made 13 save sin the full 60:00.
Saint Joseph's opens Northeast Conference action at Bryant next Saturday, March 25. Opening face-off in Smithfield, R.I. is slated for 1:00 p.m.