Delaware Stuns #20 Towson and Wins CAA Championship

Kevin Kaminski and John Austin each added two goals for the Blue Hens while Grant Kaleikau dished out three assists - his 12th straight game with a point - and Dan Cooney scored his first goal of the season and won his first nine faceoff attempts on the way to 15-5 day at the circle. Delaware held a commanding 40-22 edge in groundballs. Dickson, Fossner, Cooney, and sophomore longstick midfielder Taylor Burns all were named to the CAA All-Tournament team.

No. 20 ranked Towson, the tournament's top seed and a 9-7 winner over the Blue Hens back on Apr. 3 on the same field, ended its season at 7-8 and had a three-game win streak snapped. Will Harrington led Towson with two goals and an assist while Stephen Norris scored twice, Tim Stratton dished out three assists, and Brock Armour added two helpers.

Delaware led from start to finish, but it was never easy in a game featured two rivals that have faced each other 59 times. The Hens outscored the Tigers 6-1 in the second quarter to head into halftime up 7-4 and shut out Towson in the third quarter to take a 9-4 advantage into the final stanza.

But the Tigers were not about to give up. Taking advantage of several Delaware penalties, Towson scored three straight man-up goals in the first three minutes of the final stanza with Harringtons' tally at the 11:50 mark cutting the Delaware margin to 9-7.

As he has done all season, Dickson rescued the Blue Hens once again as he fired in a rocket from 20 yards out with 11:34 left to play to give the Hens some breathing room and scored again just 42 seconds later off a feed from Kaleikau to make it 11-7.

“We were sitting back in the fourth quarter and they got a couple on us,” said Dickson. “We knew we needed a few more goals to win it and just went hard to the net. All the records weren't in my mind today but they are great. Today this win means a heck of a lot more.”

Towson rallied again, getting consecutive goals from Carl Iacona with 10:20 left to play and another man-up goal from Stratton at the 7:01 mark the narrow the gap to 11-9.

Neither team managed another strong scoring opportunity for nearly five minutes before Fossner came up with the play of the game with the Hens clinging to a two-goal lead. After making a save on a shot by Harrington with 2:26 left, Fossner sent an outlet pass to teammate Tim Langmaid who ran to the middle of the field but lost the handle.

Towson's Christian Pastirik picked up the groundball and fired a pass to a wide-open Stratton alone in front of the net. Stratton faked the shot several times, but when he finally let it go at point-blank range, Fossner got a piece of the ball for the key save at the 2:06 mark.

Delaware then iced the win as Austin scored on an open net with 1:05 left to play to secure the title. A minute later, the Blue Hens stormed the field and mobbed Fossner near the goal.

“I just tried to follow his feat,” said Fossner of the pivotal play. “I was fortunate to get a piece of the ball. I looked back to make sure the net wasn't moving and I heard the cheers. I just put my hands up. You can never let your guard down in this game and we were fortunate to run out the clock.”

Fossner enjoyed his second straight big effort in what has been one of the most emotional weeks of his life. His mother, Elaine, passed away at the age of 57 Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer and Noah played just three days later, posting 14 saves in a 15-12 CAA semifinal win over No. 9 ranked Drexel Wednesday.

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2010-05-08



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