Dover nipped by Padua 1-0 in OT in D-I hockey semifinals

A somber Superia Clark walks off the field after Dover’s overtime semifinal loss to Padua Academy on Thursday at the University of Delaware in Newark. In background at right, is teammate Regan Torbert. Special to the Delaware State News/Butch Comegys

NEWARK — The Dover High field hockey team again found itself in overtime, trying to keep its season alive.

But this time the ball would not go into the cage.

The Senators’ Division I DIAA state tournament run came to an end with a 1-0 overtime loss to Padua Academy on Thursday at Rullo Stadium at the University of Delaware.

Riley Hickox provided the game-winner to send the second-seeded Pandas to the title game. Padua (14-3) will face top seed Cape Henlopen (16-2) for the championship on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Sussex Academy.

Padua’s Hickox, who is from Dover, netted the game’s only goal off a penalty corner late in the first overtime period.

“I couldn’t have done anything without my team,” Hickox said. “I had a beautiful pass from my teammate Anna Getty. She set me up and I just put it in the back of the net.”

Dover’s Alayna Gigliotti, middle, slices through the defense of Padua Academy’s #5 Angela Taglione, left, and Anna Getty.

“It’s really exciting honestly,” Hickox added. “None of us were really nervous. This atmosphere fuels us to work harder and play our best.”

The goal set up a rematch of last year’s championship which Cape Henlopen won 5-0.

Cape Henlopen also defeated Padua 1-0 this year on Sept. 21.

Dover, the tournament’s sixth seed, ended its season at 10-5-2 overall. The Senators reached the semifinals after an overtime victory over No. 3 Concord last week.

It was the second semifinal berth for Dover in the last three season.

The Senators will only graduate three seniors from this year’s team. Dover had 10 players on the varsity roster this season who were sophomores or younger.

“It’s a majority of 10th graders and they played their hearts out,” said Dover coach Denise Kimbro. “They played hard. I just hope we step it up and take it to the next level.”

Dover’s Superia Clark breaks away from Padua Academy’s Lauren Owens.

There weren’t many shots on goal throughout regulation although both teams had a few high-quality chances.

The Pandas knocked one off the post in the second half. Dover nearly scored on two separate penalty corners and had another shot cleared off the line by Padua defense Abigail Brainard.

Dover goalie Richana Brown came up clutch several times in the sudden-death overtime to keep Dover alive. She recorded back-to-back kick saves to keep Padua off the board followed up by a reactionary glove save midway through the extra session.

“We didn’t let that make us nervous or anything,” Hickox said. “We just decided to keep working hard and pumping balls in there to get the best opportunity for ourselves.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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