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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #43 Delaware Blue Hens

The Blue Hens returned to the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.

Rene Schleicher

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Hofstra, Brown, and St. John’s.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#43 Delaware Blue Hens

Conference: CAA
2018 Record: 6-8 (3-2 in CAA play)
Postseason: Lost to Towson in CAA semifinals
Head coach: Ben DeLuca (1st Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Charlie Kitchen (37)
Assists: Will Hirschmann (15)
Points: Charlie Kitchen (51)
Faceoffs: Jake Hervada (98-of-210; 46.7%)
Ground balls: Jake Hervada (49)
Caused turnovers: Austin Haynes (26)
Goals against average: Matt DeLuca (10.23 GAA)
Save percentage: Matt DeLuca (53.1%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Will Hirschmann (27 Gs, 15 As, 18 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 42 of 213 points (19.7%)
Senior starts lost: 14 of 140 (10%)

Season Summary

For the first time in 39 years, the Blue Hens had a different face leading the team. Ben DeLuca replaced Bob Shillinglaw last May and helped take Delaware to their first CAA Tournament since 2014.

The season started out promising, as the Blue Hens went 3-0 before hosting Villanova. Leading by a goal in the fourth quarter, two Christian Cuccinello goals gave the Wildcats a one-goal win. That would be the start of a tough five-game losing streak, which included questionable losses to Mercer and Binghamton. Delaware also fell to Johns Hopkins and Rutgers. After the Binghamton loss, the Blue Hens dismissed four players, including Andrew Romagnoli, for a “violation of team policies.”

But Delaware rebounded once CAA play began, alternating between wins and losses for a 3-2 conference record to meet Towson in the conference semifinals. The Blue Hens were down 7-3 to begin the fourth quarter, but mounted a four-goal run to tie things up at eight before the Tigers scored the game-winner in the extra session.

Charlie Kitchen powered the offense with a team-high 51 points and was joined by junior Joe Eisele on attack, as well a rotating group that included Mark Bieda. The midfield consisted of Will Hirschmann, senior Dean DiSimone, and sophomore Bryce Reid. Kitchen, Hirschmann, DiSimone, Reid, and Eisele all recorded at least 20 points. After that (outside of Romagnoli’s seven points), freshman Peter St. Geme had six points.

Protecting goalie Matt DeLuca included junior Austin Haynes, freshman Liam Duff, and sophomore Zach Strassner. Ryan Shaw saw increased time as an LSM with 26 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers, and FOGO Jake Hervada went 46.7% from the faceoff X.

Looking Ahead

On their website, Delaware didn’t have a ton of seniors listed. In the end, they only lose one key senior in Hirschmann, as DiSimone and Jackson Finigan have one year left of eligibility, according to a source. DiSimone, a first-team All-CAA selection, missed the 2017 season to play club hockey while Finigan missed two seasons after injuring his knee.

With very minimal losses, the Blue Hens are capable of being serious contenders in the CAA. Kitchen is a talented attackman and the offense has the ability to be one of the best units in the country. With another year under their belt, the defense should also improve from a year ago.

Here’s who the Blue Hens will be adding to their roster for next year.*

Delaware’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Justin Aimone Midfield Hunterdon Central (NJ)
Tommy Beeby Midfield John Jay (NY)
Blake Gagen Defense Torrey Pines (CA)
Jake Govett Attack Mountain Vista (CO)
Owen Grant Defense Everest Academy (ON)
Forrest Hartman Attack/Midfield Agoura (CA)
Kyle Kivinski Attack/Midfield Dominion (VA)
Tye Kurtz Midfield Bishop MacDonnell (ON)
Mason Marano Midfield/FO Greenhill School (TX)
Clayton Miller Attack Cumberland Valley (PA)
Connor Pierce Midfield Radnor (PA)
George Ward Attack McDonogh (MD)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Delaware get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    0-4
    (1 vote)
  • 19%
    5-6
    (9 votes)
  • 21%
    7-8
    (10 votes)
  • 56%
    9+
    (26 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now