Delaware Stuns #20 Towson and Wins CAA Championship

TOWSON, Md. – Senior attackman Curtis Dickson (Riverside H.S./Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada), the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, scored five goals as second-seeded University of Delaware (10-6) captured the CAA championship with a 12-9 upset victory over top-seeded and 20th ranked Towson University (7-8) in the CAA title game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Dickson, who scored two goals in the fourth quarter to end a Tiger comeback, became Delaware's career leader in goals when he tallied his fifth goal with 10:52 left in the fourth period. His 162nd career goal enabled him to surpass Randy Powers, who scored 161 goals in his career from 1983 to 1986.

With the victory, Delaware earns the CAA's automatic berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The tournament field will be announced on Sunday evening, May 9. The Blue Hens will take a season-high five-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament.

For the Blue Hens, it marked their second CAA championship and it also marked the second time that Delaware has won the CAA championship game at Unitas Stadium. In 2007, Delaware edged Towson by 10-7 at Unitas Stadium.

"Congratulations to Delaware and good luck to the Blue Hens in the playoffs," Towson Coach Tony Seaman said. "It seems like it's been that way for us all year with close games and going right to the end. We were fortunate to win four of them and I would have traded any one of those games for the game today."

Delaware, which avenged an earlier 9-7 loss to Towson in early April, entered the fourth quarter with a 9-4 lead but had to hold off a furious comeback by the Tigers.

With 14:04 left in the fourth quarter, sophomore attackman Stephen Norris (Leonardtown H.S./Compton, Md.) scored an extra-man goal off a pass from senior midfielder Brock Armour (Western Reserve Academy/Victoria, B.C., Canada) to cut the Tiger deficit to 9-5. With 12:08 remaining, graduate student midfielder Christian Pastirik (St. Mary's H.S./Annapolis, Md.) pulled the Tigers to within 9-6 when he tallied an extra-man goal off a pass from senior midfielder Will Harrington (Friends School/Baltimore, Md.).

Just 18 seconds later, Harrington scored another extra-man goal off a pass from junior attackman Tim Stratton (Manheim Township H.S./Lititz, Pa.), narrowing the Blue Hens' lead to 9-7 with 11:50 remaining.

Moments later, Dickson scored a critical goal from 15 yards away to halt the Tigers' scoring run and give Delaware a 10-7 advantage. With 10:52 remaining, Dickson's fifth goal of the game upped the Blue Hens' lead to 11-7.

But, the Tigers kept clawing their way back. With 10:20 left, an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder Carl Iacona (Massapequa H.S./Massapequa, N.Y.) trimmed the Towson deficit to 11-8. When Norris scored another extra man goal off a pass from Stratton with 7:01 remaining, Delaware's lead was cut to 11-9.

However, Delaware won the ensuing faceoff and held the ball for the next few minutes. When the Tigers finally got the ball back, junior goalkeeper Noah Fossner (Niskayuna H.S./Niskayuna, N.Y.) made a great save on a shot by Pastirik. With two minutes left, Fossner made his biggest save of the game. After a Delaware turnover in its own end, Stratton had a great scoring chance on the edge of the crease. After two fakes by Stratton, Fossner made a save on his point-blank shot, keeping Towson from cutting its deficit to one goal.

After the Tigers pulled their goalkeeper to double team the Blue Hens, junior midfielder John Austin (Shoreham-Wading River H.S./Shoreham, N.Y.) scored into an empty net to give Delaware an insurmountable 12-9 advantage with 1:05 left.

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