Dover edged 15-14 in OT by DMA in boys lacrosse tournament

WILMINGTON — Dover High went back and forth over and over with Delaware Military Academy right up until the final play of the game.

The Senators fell in the first round of the DIAA boys’ lacrosse state tournament to Delaware Military 15-14 in overtime on Wednesday night at Tower Hill.

And while tears were shed, the future is bright for this group who will return all of its starting lineup next season.

“The ball didn’t fall our way but our guys poured their hearts into everything,” said Dover coach Michael Denman. “We’ve got guys crying in the huddle, but man, I’m proud of them. They left everything they had on the field. They showed up to win the game, just because the ball didn’t fall our way, that’s O.K. because we had a good season. They deserve to keep their heads up.”

Markus Cook tallied the game-winner for seventh-seeded Delaware Military nearly two minutes into the overtime period. The Seahawks advanced to face No. 2 Salesianum on Saturday.

Dover ended its season at 11-5 overall.

The Senators, who were seeded 10th, were led by junior Will Niebrzydowski, who scored seven goals. Niebrzydowski also recorded the 300th point of his career.

“This is a tough way to lose but next year is going to be a magical year I think,” Niebrzydowski said. “We’re all returning and we’re all going to be hungry. We’ll still be the underdog but we’re O.K. with that.

The game featured dominant stretches by both teams.

Dover started the game with a 6-0 run in the firth quarter. The Seahawks responded by scoring five-straight goals and eventually tied the contest 7-7 right before halftime.

Niebrzydowski netted a goal with 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Senators a 8-7 advantage at the break. Delaware Military then took its first lead of the night, going up 10-9 with 7:02 left in the third.

But Dover ended the third quarter with five goals, three by Niebrzydowski and went on top 14-11 headed into the fourth. The Senators did not score again though and Delaware Military was able to force overtime where Cook won it.

Still, even with the tough defeat, there is a strong sense of optimism for the Senators. This was their highest win-total in the regular season since 2012.

“The program is headed in the right direction,” Denman said. “The kids are really starting to show their work ethic in the offseason. They’re getting it done not just on the field but in the classroom. We’re really working to change the culture and next year we can make a run.”

Robert Mason had a hat-trick for Dover while Derek Hallock scored a pair of goals in the first quarter. Thomas Gill and Divine Watkins also provided goals for the Senators.

“We all gave our hearts out it just came down to some turnovers and some missed shots,” Niebrzydowski said. “But we gave it our all, they gave it their all and it could have gone either way.”

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