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Successful Delaware season ends in NCAA quarterfinals after 10-8 loss to Cornell

Sunday, 22nd May 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 5/22/22
From Press Release

The Delaware men’s lacrosse team battled against its second Top-10 opponent in as many weeks in Columbus this afternoon. Giving it all they had, the Blue Hens battled it out in the NCAA Quarterfinals against No. 7 Cornell, where they fell 10-8 to end their season.

“[I am] super proud of our young men,” said Delaware coach Ben Deluca. ” [They were] just absolute warriors throughout the year and did everything we could have asked for from investment into our culture and into our process.

“From day one they committed to each other and they’ve committed to the program and they have a lot to be proud of. Came up short today, disappointing, but I think we talk a great deal about the process and not the result and they continued to work toward that process today.”

Cornell started the game with two goals in the first eight minutes of play to take a 2-0 lead before the UD offense was able to find a rhythm.

Tye Kurtz scored the first goal of the game for Delaware to kickstart a 4-0 run when he snuck past the Big Red defense to trim Cornell’s lead to 2-1 with 6:58 to go in the first quarter.

Clay Miller scored a pair of goals in identical situations, cutting down the middle as he received feeds from Rolan Hockenberry and JP Ward for easy scores. His goals sandwiched an Owen Grant transition score that fueled a four-goal spurt that gave Delaware a 4-2 lead with 2:09 remaining in the first quarter.

The Big Red scored a goal late in the opening frame to cut UD’s lead to one, and then a score off of the faceoff to start the second quarter knotted things at 4-4.

Both teams settled in defensively as neither side found the back of the net for more than 10 minutes. Cornell ended the stalemate with a goal at the 4:25 mark to take a 5-4 lead, but Kilkeary made a pair of saves in the final 10 seconds of the half to keep it a one-goal game at the midway point.

The second half opened much like the first as Cornell scored two goals in the first seven minutes to extend its lead to 7-4.

Kurtz ended a 26-minute scoreless drought for the Blue Hens as he buried a feed from Mark Bieda at the top of the crease to make it a 7-5 game with 6:00 on the clock in the third quarter.

Kurtz completed the hat trick, his ninth of the season, just a minute later as he found the back of the net from 12-yards out on a Drew Lenkaitis assist to make it a one-game game again.

Late in the quarter, Bieda restarted from the corner and again found Kurtz who stepped into a rocket that tied the game at 7-7 with just 12.8 seconds left on the clock.

Cornell would score the next three goals over the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter to go back ahead 10-7. The Blue Hens could not find an answer until Kurtz scored his fifth goal of the game with 39 seconds remaining on an assist from Aidan Fritz.

The Blue Hens got off a pair shots in the final 20 seconds, but could not pull any closer as Cornell closed out the 10-8 final.

Kurtz led the Delaware offense with five goals while Miller added two. Bieda had two assists and five other Blue Hens had single points.

For Cornell, Billy Coyle (Malvern Prep) had a goal, two groundballs and a caused turnover.

Grant led the defense with two caused turnovers and four ground balls. Logan Premtaj and Joe Speers both also had two caused turnovers while Jason Seiter tied Grant for the team lead with four ground ball pickups.

Kilkeary finished with 12 saves on the afternoon for his sixth double-digit performance of the season.

“I couldn’t really be more proud of this team,” Kurtz said. “I think we fought really hard from the very start. I am honored to be a part of the run, so to speak, that we have been going on. But realistically, no one on our team had a doubt that we could do this and that this was possible. I know a lot of people doubted us, and you could consider it a run, but our team believed the whole time that we could do this. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys in that locker room and the coaching staff and the support staff that got us this far. And a huge credit to Blue Hen nation that came out.”

Delaware ends the season with a 13-6 overall record. The 2022 CAA co-Regular Season and Tournament Champions advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third time in program history and the first time since 2007.


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