Saturday, April 20, 2024

Marszal, Robinson bolster Delaware’s winning weekend as lacrosse season commences

SportsMen's LacrosseMarszal, Robinson bolster Delaware’s winning weekend as lacrosse season commences

Managing Sports Editor

The university’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams each opened 2024 on the right foot against Patriot League competition, buoyed by stellar individual offense and single-digit goals allowed on defense. 

Friday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Delaware women’s lacrosse took an 8-4 lead into the fourth quarter before downing Lehigh University, 11-7. The Blue Hens enjoyed variety on offense, with seven players scoring on the afternoon, but it was sophomore attack Jaclyn Marszal’s five goals on six shots that led the way. 

Marszal transferred to the Hens from Notre Dame in August, joining her sister, Steph Marszal, a redshirt freshman goalkeeper for Delaware. Steph Marszal held Lehigh to its seven goals on 28 shots, with 21 attempts coming on goal in the victory.

Delaware’s 1-0 women’s lacrosse start follows last season’s Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) tournament appearance and 8-8 finish overall. In 2023, the Blue Hens opened their campaign by defeating Lehigh and Lafayette College before going 3-4 in games decided by two goals or fewer. Three of those seven contests went to overtime.

Lehigh placed fourth out of 10 in this spring’s Patriot League preseason poll, voted upon by women’s lacrosse head coaches and sports information directors in the conference. Delaware next turns its attention to another nonconference opponent in UMBC, which was tabbed sixth in the America East preseason poll. The Retrievers began their year with a bang by hammering Delaware State University 20-2 on Saturday. Redshirt junior attack Kolby Weedon recorded five goals and three assists as one of three Retrievers with a hat trick in the win.

Delaware’s remaining out-of-conference schedule includes three games facing programs within 24 spots of the No. 48 Hens in the final NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) of 2023. The RPI ranks all 126 Division I women’s lacrosse schools. 

Men’s lacrosse completed Delaware’s winning weekend on the turf with the Blue Hens’ 14-6 disposal of Lafayette on Saturday. The defending CAA champion Hens were on the board with a goal by graduate attack Mike Robinson under a minute into the season opener. Robinson had his hat trick before the end of the first quarter and concluded with seven goals on 16 shots, the most scores in a single game by a Blue Hen since Tye Kurtz registered eight versus Drexel University in April 2022.

Delaware controlled Saturday’s matchup (the Hens won 18 faceoffs to the Leopards’ six) just as it has owned the series against Lafayette. Delaware is now 42-1 all-time when opposing Lafayette, its lone loss coming in the 1957-58 season. 

The Blue Hens will hit the road for the first time this season when they make their next faceoff Saturday at St. John’s University. Three of the Hens’ four matchups to follow are dates with teams joining them in this week’s Inside Lacrosse Top 20 media poll. Delaware is set to square off with the No. 19 University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 24, the No. 14 University of Michigan on Mar. 2 and No. 5 Syracuse University on Mar. 16.

All three meetings will be occasions for No. 16 Delaware to prime itself for optimal NCAA tournament positioning. Seventh-year head coach Ben DeLuca’s squad is coming off two consecutive postseasons in which it was selected for the bracket’s opening round. In those playoff openers, Delaware beat down Robert Morris University (2022) and Marist College (2023) by a combined 45-18.

On Monday, Robinson collected CAA Offensive Player of the Week recognition for his fourth-career weekly honor while Steph Marszal and graduate defender Madison Hranicka each snagged an award on the women’s end.

Marszal’s 14 saves in her debut won her CAA Rookie of the Week distinction. Hranicka’s three caused turnovers and five ground balls at Lehigh earned the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week.  

While Delaware women’s lacrosse plays at home Wednesday and Saturday, the men’s team does not return to Tubby Raymond Field until its meeting with Michigan next month. The Wolverines’ visit to the Blue Hens will be carried on 91.3 WVUD’s online Sports Stream 3.




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