CR romps over Delcastle 5-1 to reach Division I soccer semifinals

The Riders celebrate their second goal against Delcastle in Saturday’s tournament game. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

SMYRNA — The gusting breeze didn’t matter at all.

Neither did the 40-degree game time temperature that dropped quickly when the sun went down.

Nothing deterred Caesar Rodney High, which rolled into the Division I state boys soccer tournament semifinals for the fifth time in seven years with a dominating 5-1 win over Delcastle on Saturday night.

Monroe Hite (17) of CR and Delcastle’s Saul Robles Lomeli double-head the ball in the match Saturday night at Smyrna.

The Henlopen Conference champion Riders won their 10th straight game this fall by scoring twice in the first half going with the wind and three more in the second 40 minutes against it at Charles V. Williams Stadium. The next test comes Wednesday against either Appoquinimink or Charter School of Wilmington in the Division I final four.

“We knew it would be cold but we put in the work to be ready,” junior Lyod Coutilien said. “They had to play in the same conditions we did and be on the same field so none of that mattered.”

CR’s Lyod Coutilien advances the ball upfield followed by teammate Braden Phillips.

Coutilien continued to thrive in the postseason, registering two goals and an assist just as he did during the Henlopen title match win over Indian River on Nov. 3. He had ample support from seniors Chikezie Ikwuagwu (two goals) and Braeden Phillips (goal, assist) and the Riders kept up a mostly relentless attack throughout.

“We have an explosive attack with several dynamic players who are consistent threats to score,” CR coach Darrell Gravatt said. “They’re assisted by a mostly unnoticed group of midfielders who gain possession or transfer the ball from defense to offense to make a run.”

According to Coutilien, experiencing his first playoff game since transferring from Milford in the offseason, “We all worked hard and passed the ball well, and when it came to finishing we put it into the net.”

Spencer Ott of CR watches as Delcastle goalie Anthony Flores-Gueierrez goes high to save a shot in the first half.

CR midfielders Zachary Davis, Monroe Hite and Evan McCleary drew praise from their coach, while the tough back line of Gabriel Buckley, Ayden Brown, Jacob Stant (who had an assist in the first half) and Reign Stevens added to a complete team effort. Goalkeeper Dillon Rahe made four saves the few times he was challenged, all of the difficult variety.

“We knew if we got possession and then gave our offense time with the ball they would eventually come through,” Buckley said. “We have great confidence in them and I believe they probably have the same confidence in us.”

Ikwuagwu scored nine minutes into the match off a Coutilien assist after several other Rider attacks were thwarted, and Phillips scored from Stant 10 minutes later near the midway point of the first half. When Ikwuagwu scored three minutes into the second half, the Riders seemed to be in complete control. Coutillien’s unassisted goal at 51 minutes made it 4-0, and he had another unassisted goal near the end of the game when the result was inevitable.

“Our team played well,” Buckley said.

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