No. 14 Drexel Rallies, Barely Escapes Against Delaware

PHILADELPHIA -- The tough breaks continued for Delaware Saturday afternoon, as the Blue Hens built a three-goal fourth-quarter lead but saw it slip away in an 11-10 Colonial Athletic Association setback to No. 14 ranked Drexel at Vidas Field.

The host Dragons overcame a 9-6 deficit with just under 11 minutes to play as they scored five straight goals, including three in a span of 25 seconds, to take control and complete the comeback.

The Blue Hens fell to 2-8 (0-3 CAA) with their fourth straight loss, three of them by one goal. Of Delaware's eight setback this season, five have been by a single goal, including a 7-6 overtime loss to Towson last Friday and a 9-8 setback to defending national champion Loyola in February.

Drexel (8-2, 3-0 CAA) remained in first place in the CAA standings with its fourth straight victory and their second straight win over the Blue Hens.

Despite the loss, the Hens got a balanced effort as seven different players scored goals, including three freshmen. Freshmen Connor Frisina and Ian Robertson each scored twice for the Blue Hens as did Nick Diachenko. Eric Smith had a goal and two assists while Tom Holland dished out two helpers.

Blue Hen freshman goalkeeper Connor Peaks recorded nine saves in his second start in place of injured starter Chris Herbert while Tyler Barbarich continued to shine on faceoffs, winning 15 of 25 on the day.

Drexel, which entered the game ranked No. 9 nationally in scoring offense at 12.2 goals per game, had nine different players find the back of the net with Ben McIntosh and Ryan Belka each scoring twice and handing out an assist. Aaron Prosser had a goal and three assists while team scoring leader Robert Church scored once and dished out two assists.

Delaware scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead after the first stanza and then tallied the final three of the second period, including two by Robertson, to take a commanding 6-2 lead into the halftime.

The Blue Hens built the lead to 7-2 when Smith scored a man-up goal early in the third quarter before Drexel battled back with three of its own to narrow the gap to 7-5. Delaware All-American candidate Dom Sebastiani scored his lone goal of the day with 1:31 left in the stanza to send the Hens into the final period up 8-5.

Drexel's Belka and Delaware's Diachenko traded goals in the first five minutes of the final stanza before the Dragons got hot. Church scored with 10:07 left and Belka tallied again at the 6:32 mark to pull Drexel to within 9-8.

Neither team scored again for the next four minutes before Drexel went on its scoring spree to win the game. Prosser scored with 2:38 left to tie the game at 9-9 and Nick Saputo tallied just five seconds later when he won the faceoff, scooped up the groundball, and scored past Peaks to give Drexel the lead for good at 10-9. McIntosh scored just 22 seconds later to give Drexel some insurance.

But the Blue Hens fought back as Diachenko scored his second goal of the game off a Smith feed with 1:48 remaining to cut the lead to 11-10.

After Drexel's Saputo won the ensuing faceoff, the Hens caused a turnover and had two possessions to score but turned the ball over with 1:01 left, and after getting the ball back again, Connor McRoy's shot just before the final horn sailed wide.

Delaware will return to action Apr. 3 when the Hens travel to Marist for a non-league game.


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