February 25, 2012

Fay Nets Four as Blue Hens Win Second Straight

from press release

NEWARK, Del. – Sophomore Chelsea Fay continued her hot early-scoring output with a career-high four goals, Caitlin McCartney and Abbie Hartman each scored twice, and goalkeeper Alex Zaugra (bottom left) was solid in the cage as the University of Delaware women's lacrosse squad won its second straight game with an 11-7 win over Lehigh at wind-blown Delaware Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Conditions at Delaware stadium were blustery, as the Hens, who improved to 2-1 on the season, fought through winds gusting at over 40 miles per hour. Delaware stayed unbeaten at home after posting an identical 11-7 win over Villanova on Wednesday.

The Hens have now won three straight home games dating back to last season and have captured 7 of their last 10 game at the friendly confines of Delaware Stadium. Each of the three losses in that stretch were by just one goal, including two being decided in overtime.

Delaware scored the final two goals of the first half to break a tie and take a 5-3 lead into halftime and then scored four straight goals in the second half to take control on the way to the victory.

Lehigh, which fell to 1-1 on the season, got three goals and an assist from Julie McBrien while Leigh Ann Torcivia contributed a goal and an assist.

“Today was definitely a team effort,” said second-year Delaware head coach Kateri Linville. “We had a lot of people step up for us today and make contributions.  We talked about making history. Our two wins this season here at Delaware Stadium set us up to be undefeated at home in non-conference play, which is something we have yet to do. We took one step closer to achieving that short-term goal. We are really excited for the team to come out with a win today.”

Lehigh got things started after a scoreless first six minutes of the game with a goal from Carli Sukonik before the Hens came back with a 3-0 run with just over 19 minutes left in the first half. Fay netted back-to-back goals during that run, while McCartney also chipped in with a goal to make it a 3-1 Blue Hen lead.

The Mountain Hawks would score the next two to knot the score at 3-3 following goals by Torcivia and McBrien with just under 10 minutes remaining, but Lehigh would not get any closer throughout the rest of the game.

McCartney scored her second goal of the game less than a minute later to regain the Blue Hen lead at 4-3, followed by another Blue Hen goal by Fay with 2:28 remaining to give Delaware a 5-3 lead at halftime. McCartney, a freshman who pushed her team-leading goal total to nine, fell just a single goal short of becoming the first player in UD history to score three or more goals in each of her first three career games.

Lehigh was the first to find the back of the net at the start of the second as Kelly Draper shot one in just one minute into the half on a free position attempt.

Answering back with a vengeance, the Blue Hens ventured onto a 4-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back goals from Hartman and Blair King’s first goal of the season to put Delaware up 9-4 with 9:14 left to play.

Following King’s goal, Lehigh called timeout and came back to the field strong, getting a goal by McBrien to cut the lead to 9-5. But Delaware took control from there and closed out the win as Angela Biciocchi tallied her first goal of the season and Fay added her fourth goal of the day to up the Hens' lead to 11-6. Lehigh scored two late goals to close the gap but never threatened.

Lehigh took a 13-6 advantage over the Hens on draw controls, grabbing the pace on the draws early with five wins in the first eight attempts in the first half. The Mountain Hawks battled even harder in the circle in the second half, winning eight of 11, including two of Torcivia’s game-high three draw controls.

On defense, Delaware's Biciocchi came up with a season-high four groundballs and forced one turnover while Kierstan Smith caused a career-high three turnovers and scooped up two groundballs for the Hens.

Between the pipes, Zaugra made 10 saves on the day as the freshman improved to 2-1 on the season. Alex Fitzpatrick made seven saves in goal for the Mountain Hawks.
Up next, the Blue Hens hit the road to face Georgetown for the Hoya’s season-opener on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m.

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