Delmar tops Tatnall 5-1 in D-II semifinals, eyes 4th straight hockey title

Delmar’s Maci Bradford is congratulated by her teammates after her first-half goal. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — The Delmar High field hockey team is no stranger to the thrill of a state title game.

And the Wildcats are headed back there.

“It’s the kind of feeling that you can’t get anywhere else,” said junior midfielder Olivia Twilley. “It’s kind of once in a lifetime. It’s just amazing.”

Twilley scored a pair of goals to lead top-seeded Delmar over Tatnall 5-1 in the semifinals of the Division II field hockey tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Dover High.

The Wildcats will face second-seeded Indian River High on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Sussex Academy for the championship. The two teams played earlier this season on Oct. 12 with Delmar winning 4-1.

Delmar’s Laura Rogers reaches to make a shot on goal as Tatnall’s goalie Carlie McKenry makes the save in the first half.

Delmar (18-0) has won the Division II championship every year since the sport split into two divisions in 2017. The Wildcats also earned the state title the final year before the move to two divisions in 2016.

The Wildcats, seeking a fourth-straight state championship, have not lost since Oct. 22, 2016 to Cape Henlopen — a streak of 61 victories in a row.

And they don’t want to be the group who sees that streak end.

“They feed off that pressure from each other and other teams to succeed,” said Delmar coach Jodi Hollamon. “We’ve done a great job of that all season and we’ll see if we can do it one more time on Saturday.”

It took Delmar 23:50 to score its first goal of the game which was the Wildcats’ second-longest drought to begin a game this season. The only game where it took longer was against Dover when Delmar did not score until there was 2:14 left in the first half.

Twilley first got the Wildcats on the board on Wednesday off an assist from Logan Walls.

The Wildcats’ Josie Hollamon takes a shot on goal as Tatnall’s Rachael Whitehead jumps over the ball in the first half.

Delmar found it difficult to solve Tatnall goalie Carlie McKenry at first. McKenry recorded 18 saves and kept the Wildcats at bay despite the fact Delmar out-shot Tatnall 23-1 and held a 17-1 edge in penalty corners.

Once Twilley broke the ice, Maci Bradford added another 1:05 before halftime and three more goals followed in the second half.

“It’s one of those games where if one goes in, the floodgates will hopefully open,” Hollamon said. “Their goalkeeper did outstanding in the first half. We took some great shots and she was making save after save. We finally were able to get one in and put together a great second half.”

Twilley scored her second goal less than three minutes into the second half. Josie Hollamon scored just more than a minute later while Walls added an insurance goal with 15:25 remaining.

Bradford finished with three assists while Walls and Hollamon each had one.

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