Delaware Wins Wild One; Austin, Bloor Suffer Injuries
from press release
Junior attackman Eric Smith's goal with 53 seconds left in overtime lifted No. 16 Delaware to a 12-11 win over Bellarmine.
© Kevin P. Tucker
NEWARK, Del. -- In a game of streaks, it was the University of Delaware that finally won out.
Blue Hen junior attackman Eric Smith scored the game-winner with just 53 seconds left in overtime as No. 16 Delaware let a late four-goal lead slip away but came back at the right time to post a 12-11 men's lacrosse victory over Bellarmine at Delaware Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Smith, Delaware's leading scorer on the season with 19 points, finished off a five-point day as he took a feed from Garrett Johnson off the break and rifled a shot past Bellarmine goalkeeper Dillon Ward from 10 yards out on the right side to make a winner out of the Blue Hens.
Delaware (4-1), which bounced back from a tough 18-5 loss to No. 9 Johns Hopkins Tuesday night to win for the seventh time in the last eight home games, got three goals from Anthony Ruiz for his second career hat trick while Smith contributed two goals and three assists, Grant Kaleikau scored twice, and Johnson dished out two assists. Blue Hen goalkeeper Noah Fossner was clutch in the nets, collecting 14 saves.
"It felt really good," said Smith, of his game-winning goal, his first game-winner since high school when he attended Boys' Latin High School in Maryland. "It was good to get out of here of with a win. Every team in Division I is a good team and we knew Bellarmine would be. It was important for us to get back on track today."
Bellarmine (2-1), which lost for the first time in three outings this season, got two goals each from Austin Bright and Cameron Gardner and a big effort in goal from Ward (12 saves) before coming up short. Karsen Leung and Colton Clark each added a goal and an assist on the day.
The Knights had rallied from an 11-7 deficit by scoring four unanswered goals in the final 5:16 of regulation, including a goal by Leung with 1:39 left that sent the game into an extra session.
After Bellarmine won the faceoff to start overtime, both teams traded turnovers twice before either got off a shot. Gardner's shot with 1:56 left was saved by Fossner and a second attempt by Ted Avendt seconds later went wide.
Austin Bright scored two goals for Bellarmine.
© Kevin P. Tucker
Bellarmine maintained possession but Delaware's Pat Dowling stripped Bright and the Hens' Connor Fitzgerald picked up the groundball. Fitzgerald found Johnson alone in the middle of the field and the sophomore sprinted untouched to the BUâ€ˆgoal, dishing off to Smith who deposited his shot past Ward for the game-winner to set off a wild celebration.
"The good news is that we won and we got an overtime game under out belts," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who improved to 14-11 all-time in overtime games at the helm of the Blue Hens. "No question it's good to get the win, but we have to work through some things and improve our fundamentals and chemistry. The bottom line is that we have to play better."
The game was a contest of streaks. After Bellarmine went up 2-1 late in the first quarter, Delaware reeled off five straight goals - including two by Ruiz - to take a 6-2 lead midway through the second quarter on Smith's first tally at the 7:35 mark. The Knights then connected on the last four goals of the second stanza to send the game into halftime tied at 6-6 and scored seven seconds into the second half to go up 7-6.
Then it was Delaware's turn again as Sean Finegan scored with 12 minutes left to tie the game at 7-7 and start another five-goal streak for the Hens that resulted in a 11-7 lead with 10:46 left in regulation. The five-goal run included back-to-back goals from UDâ€ˆlongsticks Fitzgerald and Taylor Burns four minutes apart.
But back came Bellaramine again as Devin Peurach started a four-goal run with 5:16 left, Gardner scored 14 seconds later, and Luke Acton tallied with 2:17 left to narrow the margin to one goal. The Knights then tied it up for the fifth time on Leung's late goal.
Bellarmine won the faceoff to start overtime but Delaware
defender Will Wojciechowski knocked the ball away from Leung and
Dowling recovered. The Hens set up for a game-winning shot but a
pass by John Mills to the left sideline with 16 seconds left sailed
out of bounds. Bellarmine set
up for the game-winner but Acton's last-second shot sailed wide to send the game into overtime.
Delaware, which will continue action next Saturday, March 5, at Albany, played most of the game without two of its top midfielders in seniors John Austin and Carter Bloor. Austin injured his ankle in the first quarter and Bloor went down with a shoulder injury in the second stanza. The status of both will be determined later this week.
Delaware midfielders John Austin (ankle) and Carter Bloor (shoulder) nurse injuries suffered Sunday in the Blue Hens' 12-11 overtime triumph of Bellarmine. Each player's status will be determined later this week.
© Kevin P. Tucker
Scoring Summary (Goals-Assists)
Bellarmine - Austin Bright, 2-0; Cameron Gardner, 2-0; Karsen Leung, 1-1 Colton Clark, 1-1; Luke Acton, 1-0; Craig Carson, 1-0; Myles Jeffers, 1-0; Devin Peurach, 1-0; Lance Robinson, 1-0.
Delaware - Eric Smith, 2-3; Anthony Ruiz, 3-0; Grantâ€ˆKaleikau, 2-0; Sean Finegan, 1-1; Carter Bloor, 1-1; Kevinâ€ˆKaminski, 1-0; Connor Fitzgerald, 1-0; Taylor Burns, 1-0; Garrett Johnson, 0-2; Nick Elsmo, 0-1; Dom Sebastiani, 0-1.
Shots: Bâ€ˆ- 37, D - 32; Saves: B - 12 (Dillon Ward), D - 14 (Noah Fossner); Groundballs: B - 41, D - 49; Faceoffs:â€ˆB - 11, D - 16; Turnovers: Bâ€ˆ- 24, D - 28; Clears: B - 24 of 27, D - 21 of 28; Penalties: B - 1 for 1:00, Dâ€ˆ- 4 for 2:30; Extra Man Goals: Bâ€ˆ- 0 for 4, D - 0 for 1; Attendance: 500.
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