11 in a row for Vikings: Cape Henlopen tops Archmere 15-8 for latest girls lax title

Cape Henlopen players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Archmere 15-8 for their 11th straight girls lacrosse state championship Thursday night at Dover. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — There are certainly a lot bigger numbers out there than 11.

But if you’re talking about consecutive state championships, 11 is a pretty impressive number in anybody’s book.

Top-seeded Cape Henlopen High extended the state’s longest-running success story with another commanding win, this one by a 15-8 score over No. 2 Archmere to capture its 11th straight state crown in DIAA girls’ lacrosse on Thursday evening at Dover’s Senator Stadium.

The Vikings netted the contest’s first six goals and led by seven at halftime before coasting home with the program’s 33rd tournament victory in a row.

Cape’s players happily piled on top of each after the final seconds ticked away.

Cape players celebrate their 11th straight girls lacrosse state title.

“I mean, it’s crazy,” said senior co-captain Alia Marshall. “Eleven is such an overwhelming number. But I like to think of it as one state championship.

“This is a new team every single year. So winning it together is just exciting.”

“It does sound like a really big number,” agreed Lindsey Underwood, who has been the head coach for the last three of the Vikings’ state crowns. “But it’s an exciting number. It’s always a chase.

“The girls work all year. I mean these girls are playing today. In two weekends they’re going to be playing again at the University of Maryland on their club teams. They never put their sticks down.”

Considering the Vikings (18-0) beat Archmere just 13-7 during the regular season — the closest any Delaware team had come to Cape this spring — there was reason to think the Auks might be up for the challenge on Thursday night.

Archmere’s Caroline Donovan hits Cape’s Alia Marshall from behind in the first half.

And Archmere did have some good scoring chances and quality shots in the early minutes of the contest.

But the shots either went wide or Cape’s defense — led by freshman goalie Laci Dixon — came up with a stop. The Vikings then quickly turned those into goals at the other end of the field.

Cape reeled off its first four goals in less than nine minutes as Chloe Schaeffer scored the first two of her five total goals.

“I think our defense was really successful tonight,” said Schaeffer. “They definitely played as a team. We had really great slides. To score off those turnovers was awesome. It felt really good.

“We’re always nervous coming in,” she added. “Especially since it’s the state championship game. Whoever we’re playing, they’re going to be good. We definitely have confidence but we need to make sure we’re not overconfident.

“We need to continue to work hard and not come in slow. We try to come in hot and set the pace right away.”

Cape’s Emily Monigle scores a goal against Archmere in the first half.

By halftime, the Vikings owned an 11-4 advantage. That was as many goals as the Auks (15-3) had allowed in their last two state tourney games combined.

While Archmere — which was playing in its first state title game — was able to keep the game more competitive in the second half, the Auks also never seriously challenged Cape’s lead.

Besides Schaeffer, Marshall also tallied five goals for the Vikings. Sophomore Emily Monigle added three early goals with Sawyer Walker and Meredith Lockwood adding the others.

By now, of course, Cape’s players grow up with the idea that they don’t want to be the group of players that sees the program’s run of state titles come to an end.

They say it just makes them work that much harder.

”Of course, nobody wants to drop the ball,” said Marshall. “Nobody wants to end the streak. But I think we take that pressure and we use it as power.

“We know that we have the potential to be great every single year. We change our plans according to the team we have that year and that’s the way we do it.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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