LEXINGTON, Va. - In a game that rained the entire second half following a 45-minute lightning delay, the VMI lacrosse team fell by a 15-9 score to visiting Delaware Tuesday afternoon at Drill Field #2.
The Keydets stuck close to the Blue Hens during the first half and trailed just 7-4 following a Chris Spada goal with 4:15 before the half when nearby lightning caused the delay. When play resumed, Delaware came out with energy and scored two goals before the half to earn a 9-4 advantage going into a shortened intermission period.
VMI responded in the third period by scoring three unanswered goals to trim the Blue Hen lead to 9-7 at the 5:44 mark of the quarter. After a Delaware score to end the third period, Nick Dodd scored his second goal of the game to make the score 10-8, but that was the closest the Keydets would get to mounting a comeback as the Blue Hens notched five goals to VMI's one in the final 14 minutes of play to seal the road victory.
"I was really happy about our effort today," said VMI head coach Jon Birsner. "It's not the outcome we wanted but the mistakes are fixable and I'll take that. I was happy with the amount of transition we were able to generate and we need to build on that moving forward to help us score more goals.
"It was a two-goal game in the 4th quarter when we made it 10-8. That put us in a position to win the game and we just need to learn from this and use this experience to play a complete 60-minute game next week. Three games in eight days isn't easy so we're looking forward to a week of preparation and rest."
Three different Keydets scored two goals on the day as Wesley Sanders, Spada and Nick Dodd each registered a pair. Freshmen John Daniel, Austin Henry and Hunter Duford combined to score VMI's other points for the contest. Spada now leads the team with five goals on the year, just three short of his season-high eight set last year. Dodd is now tied with Brad Nardella for second place on the team with four goals to this point.
The Blue Hens were paced by Andrew Romagnoli's four goals on the day while Trupert Ortlieb and Steve DeLargy both scored three. Delaware proved to be effective in its offense during the second half by outshooting the Keydets by a 27-9 ratio and picking up 20 groundballs to VMI's 12. The Blue Hens also won nine of 13 faceoffs in the final two quarters.
VMI returns to action next Tuesday, March 7, on the road with a non-conference matchup at Wagner College. The first faceoff is slated for 3 p.m. in Staten Island.