Delaware Takes CAA Crown

Kevin M. Neibauer

LaxPhilly – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Delaware Fighin’ Blue Hens (11-5) blew open a close game with a 7-3 run over the final three quarters to defeat the Shawn Nadelen Coached, Towson Tigers (7-9) 11-5, winning the Colonial Athletic Conference, and secure an automatic place in the NCAA Tournament.

To the Action:

The tournament was held at Vidas Field on the campus of Drexel University. Heavy rain and winds made for miserable conditions but Delaware was not deterred.

After a long battle on the opening face-off, Joe Speers came out with ball and hit Tye Kurtz (6g) to start his record setting day putting Delaware in front with 14:39 to play. Clay Miller (1g) bagged his 23rd when he exploited a gap in the Towson defense to make it a two goal advantage. Luke Shilling (2g,2a) responded 2:36 later with his 20th of the season, and the battle was on. Mike Robinson (1g) then put the Hens up 3-1.

Towson fired back when Shilling found Kyle Berkeley (1g), complimented with Nick DeMaio (1g) leveling the score 3-3. JP Ward (2a) picked up his first of two helpers on Kurtz’ 36th to close the opening stanza with a 4-3 Delaware lead.

The Hens Take Over:

A 4-1 Second signalled doom for the Tigers. It started with Kurtz notching his hat-trick with Josh Webber (1g) countering to keep it a one goal contest.

Kurtz, Kyle Kivinski (1g) and then Kurtz again with his third of the stanza, ended the half with an 8-4 Blue Hens edge.

Third Quarter:

Both teams came out of the lockers seemingly flat. Kurtz registered the only third quarter marker at the 3:34 mark that padded the lead to 9-4 heading to the final 15:00.

Wind it Down:

The lead went to six when Mark Bieda (1g) hit net. Chop Gallagher (1g) tried to start a rally but Delaware would have none of that. Cam Acchione (1g) recorded his 9th in response to Gallagher, with Brandan Hund (1g) setting the plate for the game’s only special teams marker with Shilling closing the book on the scoring with a shorthanded score.

“It was an absolute full team effort top to bottom,” said Kurtz, the senior from Ontario. “… I was fortunate that the bounces were coming my way but none of that happens without the whole team effort.”

News and Notes:

• The outcome marks the fourth CAA title for Delaware with the others coming in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

• It is the first win for Ben Deluca since he became Coach in 2017.

• Kurtz tied a tournament record with his six goal performance. Mike Robinson also hit rope 6 times in the Semi-Final victory over Drexel.

• Shots heavily leaned the way Delaware way, 42-29 with The Hens having more on net, 26 to just 12 for Towson.

• Turnovers had 20 for the Tigers and Delaware turning it over 17 times. Ground Balls had 29 for Delaware to the 22 for the Tigers.

• Delaware had the upper hand with a 14-7 face off advantage. Logan Premtaj posted 12 of 19.

• Extra Man Ops revealed neither team scoring with Towson having three tries while Delaware was blanked on their 7 attempts.

• Shane Brennan stopped 15 Delaware shots with counterpart, Matt Kilkeary turning away a half dozen for Delaware.

The Hens now wait to find out who and when they play when the NCAA Tournament schedule is announced May 8.

Delaware Wins CAA.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.