Delaware Defeats #16 UMass To Claim CAA Title

AMHERST, Mass. - With the score tied at three at halftime, Delaware scored six goals over the final 30 minutes to defeat No. 16 UMass in the CAA championship game, 9-7, on Saturday night at Garber Field.

Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kevin Kaminski scored three goals for the Blue Hens, while Noah Fossner made nine saves, to help Delaware claim its second straight conference crown. Will Manny had two goals and an assist for the Minutemen, and Tim McCormack made seven stops.

UMass could still secure an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament when the selection show is aired tomorrow night at 9:00 pm on ESPNU.

Faceoffs were the key to the night for Delaware, which won 13 of 19 draws throughout the game to secure possession for much of the contest. The Blue Hens also held a narrow edge in shots at 31-26 while the Minutemen converted on the game's only extra-man opportunities.

The Blue Hens bolted out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of goals from John Mills on shots from the left side of the cage. The Massachusetts offense came alive in the second quarter when Manny and Art Kell hooked up for UMass' first goal just 92 seconds into the quarter. Kell was then on the receiving end of a goal two minutes later to knot the score at two on a goal from in tight.

Delaware retook the lead with seven minutes to play on a goal from Nick Diachenko before Mike Fetterly made it a 3-3 game with his sixth goal of the season to close out the first half scoring.

UMass took its only lead of the game early in the third quarter when Ryan Hantverk buried a shot past Fossner for his 18th goal of the year, but Delaware quickly silenced the Minutemen with three straight tallies to end the quarter on goals from three different scorers.

Despite Massachusetts notching back-to-back goal from Manny and Kell midway through the fourth quarter, the Blue Hens once again scored three consecutive goals over a five minute span to maintain control. Kaminski scored two of his three tallies to give Delaware the lead for good.

The All-Championship team was headed up by Delaware's Kaminski as the Most Outstanding Player along with Fossner, Cooney and Grank Kaleikau. From UMass, Tom Celentani, Jake Smith and Kell made the team. Penn State's honorees were Matt Bernier and Austin Kaut. From Hofstra Mike Skudin was recognized.

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AMHERST, Mass. -- Just nine days ago, the University of Delaware men's lacrosse was at the low point in its season. On Saturday night, the Blue Hens could not have been flying higher.

Thanks to a hat trick from Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kevin Kaminski and a smothering defense, the Blue Hens (11-6) defeated No. 19 ranked Massachusetts 9-7 at Garber Field to capture Delaware's second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association title and its third in the last five seasons.

The Blue Hens, who avenged an 11-5 setback to the same Massachusetts team last Friday night on the same field, earned a berth in the NCAA  Tournament for the sixth time in school history with the victory. The 16-team field will be announced Sunday night on ESPNU TV at 9:00 p.m.

“I am so proud of this team,” said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who led the Hens to their 23rd conference title overall and posted his 299th career in the process. “We are so excited to get this win. We were behind the eight-ball a little last week after losing our second straight game and not getting the homefield advantage, but our guys worked hard and gutted it out. We beat two great teams on the road.”

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