Familiar foes: Cape, Delmar to battle for field hockey title

NEWARK — They missed out on each other last year, but Cape Henlopen High and Delmar High are rekindling their rivalry again in the state field hockey tournament.

Both the Vikings and Wildcats earned semifinal victories on Wednesday night. The championship game will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium.

Top-seeded Cape had to come from behind to edge No. 5 Tower Hill 2-1 while Delmar, the third seed, was in control from the beginning for a 4-1 win over second seed Wilmington Christian.

This is the fourth time in the last five seasons the two teams have met in the championship game. Cape has won every matchup.

“If we’re going to win a state title, I’d like to beat them,” said Delmar coach Jodi Hollamon. “It’s always a great game when we play Cape. … Obviously we thought we would meet each other again in the finals, so I guess that’s just what we’ll do.”

The Vikings will be searching for their fifth consecutive state championship. They defeated Polytech in last year’s title game.

Cape Henlopen (18-1) and Delmar (15-1-1-) met near the end of the regular season this year. Delmar scored first but the Vikings rallied in the second half for a 4-1 win.

The last time Cape lost to a Delaware opponent was in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament to Sussex Tech.

“We just hate losing,” said Tess Bernheimer who scored both of Cape’s goals on Wednesday night.

“We can’t imagine losing. Even if we’ve won the last four (titles), we know we have to win the next one.”

Delmar ended the first half against Wilmington Christian with a pair of goals in the final three minutes to pull away.

The Wildcats were paced by Peyton Kemp’s two goals in the first and Anna Webster also scored twice on the night.

Cape Henlopen’s first half didn’t go nearly as well. The Vikings were down at halftime part of which coach Kate Austin attributed to getting used to the surface at Rullo Stadium.

“I would like to just forget about the first half now,” “It’s hard to have every player off on the same day. I think this field takes some adjusting to and it took us the entire (first) half, if not a little more. I think we were just caught off guard. [Tower Hill] is a great team and play very similar to us … I think we were just not prepared.”

The Vikings fixed that in the second half.

Bernheimer scored her first on a hard shot from the right side through the goalie’s legs with 23 minutes left. Each team then missed a chance by a couple of inches over the course of the next 15 minutes before Cape earned a penalty corner with three minutes left.

The Vikings ran a play that ended with Bernheimer getting a stick on the ball for a redirect right in front of the net. Cape was then able to kill off the clock, preventing Tower Hill from getting another shot on goal.

“It’s all about character at that point,” Austin said. “We have the skills, we have the fundamentals. It’s just relying on each other and digging deep.”

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