NEWARK, DEL – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team opened the 2014 season with a 10-3 loss at Delaware on Saturday. Redshirt-sophomore Brad James scored HPU’s first goal of the day and freshman Michael LeClair notched one goal and one assist.
“Obviously this isn’t how we wanted to start the season,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “I felt we made some good defensive adjustments in the second half but our offense just never came together today. Delaware is a very good team and they buried shots early and we had to play catch up the entire game.”
Junior Pat Farrell finished the game with three caused turnovers and one ground ball. Junior Austin Geisler made 13 saves with four ground balls. Redshirt-sophomore Nick Bittner came up with team-high five ground balls. Sophomore Jamie Piluso went 6-of-13 at the face-off X with four ground balls.
Steve Delargy and Jeff Heath each tallied two goals for the Blue Hens while Connor Peaks made 15 saves.
Delaware took a quick 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals from the right alley by Brian Kormondy and Heath. Sophomore Matt Thistle was pushed by James Connelly, giving HPU an extra-man opportunity with 10 minutes left in the first quarter. Sophomore Dan Lomas got off two shots but HPU was unable to score. The Blue Hens pushed the lead to 3-0 when Delargy pushed off his defender and fired in a shot with 6:17 on the clock.
James started the second quarter with High Point’s first goal. He spun around a Delaware defender and bounced in a shot to make it a 3-1 UD lead. After 10 scoreless minutes Delaware’s Connor McRoy scored to push the lead to 4-1. With 4:55 to play in the second quarter Brendan Montrello passed inside to freshman LeClair who buried the shot for his first collegiate goal. Piluso was flagged for pushing on the next face-off and Delaware capitalized with an man-up goal from Delargy. With less than a minute left in the second, Delaware scored to lead 6-2.
Delaware scored the only two goals in the third quarter, one each from Delargy and McRpy. LeClair fed the ball inside to Lomas who scored on an underhand shot with 10:34 on the clock in the fourth quarter to make it a 8-3 game. The Blue Hens scored the final two goals of the game to win 10-3.
The Blue Hens outshot High Point 42-32 despite a 16-7 advantage for the Panthers in the fourth quarter. HPU was 16-of-19 on clear attempts while Delaware was 17-of-17.
High Point will face another CAA opponent on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Panthers will head to Towson for an 11 a.m. game. HPU topped Towson, 9-7, last year for the first win in program history. The Tigers went on to win the CAA Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament.