May 5, 2010

Hens' Fossner Shines After Mother's Death

from press release

Delaware goalkeeper Noah Fossner, wearing pink shoe laces three days after losing his mother to breast cancer, makes one of his 14 saves in the Blue Hens' 15-12 victory over No. 10-ranked Drexel in the CAA semifinals. Fossner and the Blue Hens will visit top-seeded Towson for the CAA title Saturday.

© Kevin P. Tucker

NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware men's lacrosse squad capped an emotional week by putting in a big effort Wednesday night, using a seven-goal second quarter to propel the Blue Hens to a 15-12 victory over No. 9 ranked Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association tournament semifinal game at Delaware Stadium.

Grant Kaleikau scored his first career hat trick and dished out an assist, Curtis Dickson continued his season-long scoring binge with three more goals, and goalkeeper Noah Fossner, playing just three days after the death of his mother, registered 14 saves to lead the No. 2 seed Blue Hens to their fourth straight victory.

Delaware (9-6) will now head to top-seed and No. 20 ranked Towson for the CAA Championship Game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Towson, Md. The Tigers advanced with a 13-6 victory over No. 4 seed and No. 16 ranked Massachusetts Wednesday night in the other semifinal game. Saturday's winner will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

"This was one of the most emotional nights I've been through as a head coach," said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw, who coached his NCAA-record 543rd career game in his 35th season. "We have such a close team and we were so excited to play tonight. It was a special moment. This week was an emotional one (with Noah's mother passing away), but this team just keeps getting tighter and tighter and bonding together. We are playing well at the right time and hopefully we can keep things going.

The game was played before a spirited crowd of 1,305, many of them dressed in pink to support Fossner and honor his mother, Elaine, who passed away Sunday after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

"I don't remember much of the game tonight," said Fossner, a junior from Niskayuna, N.Y. who set the tone early with several big saves in the first quarter on the way to a save total that was just one shy of his season high. "The night was about our team, but more importantly it was a salute to my mom. I think she was looking down and was proud of what we did. It was a great night."

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