Cape Henlopen wins boys’ lacrosse conference title

FREDERICA — It took just 20 seconds for the Cape Henlopen High boys’ lacrosse program to get on the board in Friday night’s Henlopen Conference title game against Milford High.

Senior Tim Kelley’s goal at the 11:40 mark of the first quarter set the tempo for Cape’s offensive attack, setting the Vikings up for a 23-2 Henlopen Conference championship victory in the pouring rain at DE Turf.

“Each game we try to get a good start and establish a good tempo,” said Vikings head coach Mark D’Ambrogi. “Tim Kelley got open early and they found him – it’s always nice to get a good start and we continued and built off of that.”

The 23 goals marked a season-high for the Cape Vikings (11-4), who will now turn its attention to next week’s DIAA state tournament as they await the bracket release.

“We were ready to go. Once we get our chemistry back I think we can be a really good team,” Kelley said of the win. “There’s some games where we’re off for whatever reason, but games like this when we’re all on the same page we can really play well.”

Spreading the ball around and using effective ball movement on offense proved to be successful for Cape Friday night. Halfway through the game’s opening quarter, the Vikings had built a 5-0 lead with goals from five different players.

Junior Luke D’Ambrogi, the game’s leading scorer with five goals and three assists, followed up Kelley’s 20-second score with a goal of his own at the 9:35 mark.

Kelley and D’Ambrogi would go on to score two goals each in the opening quarter as Cape built a 10-1 lead by the end of the first.

“I think we have a lot of guys who all share the ball well and can all do sometime positive for our team and tonight was a good example of that,” said coach D’Ambrogi.

Six more goals in the second quarter handed Cape a 16-2 halftime advantage.

Cape credited its fast start to the team’s 10-9 loss against Appoquinimink just a week prior.

“Well we lost to Appo a week ago, 10-9, and we were really frustrated because we thought we should have won, so we were ready to pounce on somebody,” Luke D’Ambrogi said. “It was good to get to an 8-0, then a 10-1, start tonight so we definitely feel good about it.”

“We were all really mad after that Appo loss and we were ready to get out and beat somebody like that,” Kelley added. “We’ve just been waiting for the opportunity. Even though we’ve played another game since that Appo loss already, we didn’t think we played that well against Friends on Tuesday, so we’ve been waiting to go off like this.”

With a 14-goal lead at the halftime break, the second-half included a running clock as the Vikings piled on seven more goals in the third and fourth quarters to seal the victory.

Including D’Ambrogi’s five goals and Kelley’s two goals, Cape had 10 different players score at least one goal and seven different players record at least one assist.

Sophomore Finbar Rishko scored four goals; freshman Gabe Best and junior J.P. Heid each recorded hat tricks; junior Jack Dennis netted a pair of goals.

Junior Adem Tekmen, freshman Blake Gipko, senior Ryan Diacont and senior Aarin Burton scored one goal each.

Juniors Jonathan Gaglione and Jordan Passwaters netted the two first-half goals for Milford.

“We love to see the guys who don’t usually get a lot of playing score and get assists because it makes us feel like more of an all-around team,” Kelley said. “I wouldn’t feel as good about winning tonight if I was in the whole time and didn’t get to see the backups go in and do their job, get some clears and score some goals, too. So, that really helped us out a lot and I think it brings us together more.”

“Winning the conference title means a lot,” Luke D’Ambrigo said. “We didn’t win it last year because we lost to Caesar Rodney at home, so we didn’t get a chance to play in this game and Caesar Rodney ended up winning it. You always love to get a win in your last game right before the playoffs start, so it felt good and we’re confident and ready to go.”

 

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