Cape nips CR in lacrosse showdown: Dennis’ goal at 5:07 lifts Vikings 10-9 for North title

Cape Henlopen’s Jack Dennis, left, celebrates Luke D’Ambrogi’s goal in the first quarter against Caesar Rodney Thursday night. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

CAMDEN — Once again, the Henlopen Conference Northern Division boys’ lacrosse championship came down to one goal.

Cape Henlopen High edged Caesar Rodney High 10-9 on Wednesday night in a matchup pitting the two top programs in the Henlopen North against each other. It was the first loss of the year for CR, who dropped to 13-1 while Cape Henlopen moved to 10-3 overall.

The two schools are the only ones who have ever won a Northern Division title. Typically, the head-to-head matchup decides the crown.
In four of the last five meetings, the result has been by one goal. The only time it wasn’t, the difference was two goals.

Caesar Rodney’s Jacob Stand and Riley Bushweller celebrate a Riders goal during the second quarter.

Jack Dennis netted the go-ahead goal on Wednesday for the Vikings with 5:07 left. It was the fifth tally of the night for Dennis, who led all scorers.

Caesar Rodney had taken the lead at the end of the third quarter with four unanswered goals. But the Vikings had a response, trading goals with the Riders until Dennis gave them the lead for good, followed by an insurance goal from Luke D’Ambrogi with 2:20 remaining.

“We couldn’t get our heads down,” Dennis said. “Lacrosse is a game where you can go one, two, three in like thirty seconds. We had to keep that in our mind and make it happen.”

Caesar Rodney did have a chance to tie at the end.

Noah Longest scored with 34 seconds to go to bring the Riders with in one. While Cape Henlopen won the ensuing faceoff, the Vikings were whistled for a violation on the sideline, giving the ball back to CR with an extra-man opportunity with 28 seconds left.

But the Riders never got a shot off, as Cape forced a turnover and heaved it down to the other end of the field as time expired.
“We had to fight through on the man-down,” Davis said. “The defense did amazing. Got us the ball back and chucked it.”

Cape’s Liam Zolpher and Caesar Rodney’s Riley Tracy chase the ball.

The Vikings led 4-0 after the first quarter before the Riders fought back in the second.

Caesar Rodney did not score until there was 4:39 left in the second quarter. The Riders still managed to go up 7-6 with 3:59 remaining in the third after they shut out Cape in the second quarter.

As expected, neither team led by more than two down the stretch.

“We knew that going into it,” said CR coach Matt Faircloth. “Historically in this matchup it comes down to a one-goal game or a two-goal game. We put ourselves in a hole in that first quarter but I was happy with how we fought back to put ourselves in the game. We just didn’t make enough plays to put ourselves on top.”

Caesar Rodney was paced by hat tricks from three different players.

Cape’s Jacob Brown gets shoved by Caesar Rodney’s Nolan Brockmeyer during the first quarter.

Longest, Demetrius Stevenson and Josh Cosden each netted three goals. Jared Wagenhoffer added a pair of assists.
The Riders out-shot Cape Henlopen 31-18 in the defeat.

“The season’s not done by no means,” Faircloth said. “This definitely stings but we’ll be back to work tomorrow.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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