Delmar tops Polytech 2-0, makes hockey finals again

NEWARK — Less than two minutes in, Delmar High had the lead.

And the Wildcats made sure it held — they didn’t even allow a shot on goal.

Third-seeded Delmar shut out 10th seed Polytech 2-0 on Tuesday night in the semifinals of the DIAA state field hockey tournament at Rullo Stadium on the University of Delaware campus. The Wildcats (17-1), who made the finals for the second straight year, will play fourth seed Tower Hill (17-1) in the championship on Friday at 7 p.m. at Rullo.

Senior Caitlyn Wink scored the first goal for Delmar, 1:28 into the contest. Sophomore Ashlyn Carr added an insurance goal in the second half with 21 minutes remaining.

“It’s crazy,” Wink said. “It’s my senior year and we want to go out with a bang. We all have worked so hard for this Everyone has put in the effort and now it’s time to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Delaware State  News Photos/Marc Clery

It is the fifth time in the last six years Delmar has made the final. But the Wildcats are still looking for their first state championship.

Delmar fell in the championship to Cape Henlopen High in each of its last five final appearances. Cape Henlopen, the five-time defending state champion, was eliminated from this year’s tournament in the second round by Tower Hill.

If Delmar can capture that elusive field hockey state title, it would be its first in any sports besides football.

Tuesday’s victory helped avenge a semifinal defeat to Polytech in 2014 when the Panthers made the state championship, where they also lost to Cape Henlopen.

“It’s a testament to how these girls work,” said Delmar coach Jodi Hollamon. “To be back with a chance to win it, to be in that situation and hopefully put our first state championship banner up is a huge goal of ours.”

Polytech ended its season at 12-4-1.

The Panthers had to upset seventh seed Archmere Academy last week before knocking off second seed Caravel Academy in overtime last Saturday. Caravel had only lost one game all season before the Polytech defeat.

Polytech went on this run this season while trying to replace eight starters from last year’s team. The young Panthers only had two senior starters suiting up on Tuesday.

“It’s a great season,” said Polytech coach Lynn Richardson. “To be the 10th seed and end up in the final four, you couldn’t ask for more than that. It’s good these kids got a taste of the tournament.”

Wink’s goal came off a tap-in in front of the goal after a penalty corner. Carr scored with a snapshot that found its way through a crowded goalmouth.

The Wildcat defense did the rest, keeping the Panthers stuck in the midfield and dominating possession to prevent any shots.

“Our defense was amazing tonight,” Carr said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

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