February 9, 2013

Heritage, Flibotte Help Bucknell Edge Delaware

from press release

Freshman Brock Ghelfi scored two goals, including the tying score with 6:12 left as Bucknell beat Delaware on a blustery day.
© Kevin P. Tucker

NEWARK, Del. — The University of Delaware rallied all the way back from an early five-goal deficit to take the lead midway through the final stanza, but Bucknell scored the game's final two goals to post a 9-8 non-league men's lacrosse victory at chilly Delaware Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The loss in the home opener spoiled an outstanding performance from senior attackman Eric Smith, who scored a career-high four goals, including one with 8:27 left in the final quarter that gave Delaware its first lead of the day.

Bucknell (1-0), ranked No. 18 in the preseason by Division I coaches, pulled out the victory in its season opener as Brock Ghelfi tied the game with a goal with 6:12 remaining and Thomas Flibotte netted the game-winner with 3:30 left on the clock.

The game was played in 34 degree conditions with a wind chill factor of 22 thanks to 20-mile per hour winds that howled the entire game.

Delaware (1-1), which opened its season last Saturday with a 12-10 victory over High Point, was attempting to start out 2-0 for the fourth straight year. Instead the Hens dropped their home opener for the first time since 2002 after 10 straight wins and had a personal 21-game win streak over the Bison snapped.

The Blue Hens, who defeated Bucknell 11-10 in overtime last February in Lewisburg, Pa., fell to the Bison for the first time since 1974.

Smith, who returned to action this season after missing all of the 2012 campaign with a back injury, also dished out an assist vs. Bucknell and recorded his fourth career hat trick. Connor McRoy added two goals for the second straight game for the Hens while Danny Keane and Nick Diachenko (at left) also tallied goals for the Hens. Goalkeeper Chris Herbert recorded 10 saves in the nets while Tyler Barbarich won 11 of 17 faceoff attempts.

Todd Heritage led Bucknell with three goals while Flibotte and Ghelfi each scored twice, Chase Bailey had a goal and an assists, David Dickson dished out three assists, and Peter Burke contributed two helpers. Goalkeeper Kyle Feeney earned the win behind 11 saves.

The game statistics were as even as the score as both teams had 30 shots, Delaware held a slight 29-27 advantage in groundballs, and Delaware had just four more turnovers than the Bison.

Bucknell stormed out to a quick 5-0 lead as Heritage scored twice in the final three minutes of the opening stanza and Sean Doyle tallied just 36 seconds into the second period.

But Delaware settled down and started its comeback. McRoy finally got the Hens on the board just one minute after Doyle's goal and Keane and Diachenko followed with scores of their own to cut the deficit to 5-3. Flibotte scored with just 2:26 left in the opening stanza to send Bucknell into intermission up 6-4.

The Hens continued their comeback in the second half as Smith scored twice and McRoy once in a span of 2:13 early in the stanza to knot the score at 6-6.

Heritage gave Bucknell the lead back at 7-6 with his third goal of the game on a man-up situation with 5:39 left in the third quarter, but Smith was the man for Delaware once again he scored with 11:10 left in the game to tied the score at 7-7 and then tallied his fourth goal just under two minutes later to give UD its first lead of the contest at 8-7.

However, the lead would be short-lived for the Hens as Ghelfi tied the game for the third time with his goal at the 6:12 mark and Flibotte netted the game-winner with 3:30 remaining.

Delaware had several chances to tie the game in the closing minutes but an errant pass by Smith with 2:25 left turned the ball over, Bucknell's Feeney saved a shot by Smith with 29 seconds left, and McRoy turned the ball over near the Bison net just before the final horn.

The Blue Hens will return home next Saturday to face a stiff challenge as they take on defending NCAA national champion Loyola (Md.) at 3 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.


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