Delaware Finishes Regular Season Strong vs. GMU

NEWARK, Del. It was a cold and rainy afternoon at Delaware Stadium on Sunday but that didn't stop the University of Delaware women's lacrosse squad from finishing out the 2012 regular season in dominating fashion as the Blue Hens cruised by Colonial Athletic Association foe George Mason, 13-8.

Delaware (5-12, 3-4) shared the ball well as seven Blue Hens scored at least one goal. Freshman Caitlin McCartney and sophomore Chelsea Fay each scored a career high-tying four goals to lead the Delaware offensive unit. The hat trick would be McCartney's fifth in 15 games played as a rookie for the Blue Hens.

Leading the way for George Mason (3-13, 1-6) was Emily Ellisen, who also scored four goals on the day. The Patriots lost their third straight contest.

The Blue Hens got off to an early 1-0 lead with a goal from senior Blair King before George Mason quickly tied things up just minutes later.

From there, the Blue Hens took off on a 3-0 run and did not look back the rest of the way as Delaware held on to finish the 2012 season with a CAA home victory.

"I think we showed a lot of gut and heart today," said Delaware head coach Kateri Linville. "We had solid defensive stops with groundballs and (goalkeeper Alex) Zaugra had some nice saves. Offensively, we moved the ball well and were able to get some good shots and distribute the scoring. Overall, it was a team effort, which is what it's all about. You win when your whole team shows up and performs for the entire 60 minutes."

It took seven minutes before either team would score, but the slow start quickly changed pace once King netted a goal to get things started.

After Mason tied the score at 1-1, McCartney, Fay, and Bridget Burns contributed to a 3-0 surge for the Hens that lifted Delaware to a strong first half.

The Patriots got as close as a one-goal deficit with 1:46 to play, but McCartney and Fay would score back-to-back goals in under a minute to push Delaware to a 7-4 halftime lead.

McCartney and Fay continued to dominate as they opened up the second half with a pair of goals minutes apart en route to an admirable 35-goal season for each, marking the first time since 2007 and the first time under Linville two-year tenure that two Blue Hens scored 35-plus goals in a single season. Additionally, McCartney's goal total of 35 was the most by a Delaware freshman since another UD rookie, Nicole Flego, netted 36 goals during the 2007 season.

The Patriots would respond with a pair of goals of their own from Mackenzie Jones and Ellisen to tighten the score at 9-6, but Delaware fired back with a three-goal surge to push the lead to six.

Mason scored one last set of goals but would not get any closer the rest of the way as McCartney finished off her 35th goal of the season with just 26 seconds left on the clock.

For the Blue Hens, the win was especially meaningful as they paid special tribute to the Alzheimer's Association, a disease that hits close to home for several members of the Delaware lacrosse team and their families.

"We were fighting for a cause that has touched some of our families in a big way," stated Linville. "Alzheimer's is a difficult disease for which we don't have a cure. As a team, we talked about how some people are fighting losing battles and that we had the opportunity to go out and get a win today, which meant something not just to the win/loss column, but to the people we care about."

In the circle, Shannon Burns led the Blue Hens to a 14-9 advantage with a game-high five draw controls as she closed out the season by winning 47, just two shy of tying the all-time Delaware record of 49 in single season set by Ashley Moderacki in 2001.

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