Kemp’s two-goal game powers Delmar into hockey semifinals

DELMAR — The Delmar field hockey team has punched its ticket to the DIAA State tournament semifinals for the second straight season.

In shutout fashion yet again, Delmar defeated the Milford Buccaneers 4-0 Saturday afternoon to advance.

The Wildcats will prepare to face No. 10-seeded Polytech in the semifinals Tuesday, Nov. 15. The winner of the match-up will face either No. 1 Padua or No. 4 Tower Hill in the state championship.

“It doesn’t matter who our opponent is,” Delmar head coach Jodi Hollamon said. “We are excited to be on Astroturf at UD, regardless of who we face.”

Offensively, Delmar dominated from the very start of the game.

The Wildcats will prepare to face No. 10-seeded Polytech in the semifinals Tuesday. The winner of the match-up will face either No. 1 Padua or No. 4 Tower Hill in the state championship. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

The Wildcats will prepare to face No. 10-seeded Polytech in the semifinals Tuesday. The winner of the match-up will face either No. 1 Padua or No. 4 Tower Hill in the state championship. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

Less than 10 minutes into the game, sophomore Ashlyn Carr put the Wildcats on the board first with a goal off a penalty stroke.

A strong defensive effort from Milford’s back line allowed the Buccaneers to go into the half down just 1-0 despite being out-performed in penalty corners, 11-2.

However, junior Peyton Kemp scored back-to-back goals in the second half — at the 22:07 and 17:02 mark — giving Delmar the momentum and the 3-0 advantage.

“Every goal that they [Delmar] scored, the more defeated I think my girls felt that they were,” Milford head coach Andrea Fleming said.

“I really think not getting that one goal to start the fire and build confidence was everything today.”

Even up 3-0 late in the game, rather than play it safe and eat up clock, Hollamon’s squad continued to attack Milford’s defense.

Freshman Logan Walls capped the Wildcats’ scoring with a goal of her own at the 6:54 mark, thanks to an assist from Carr.

Delmar put up 24 shots and forced 20 penalty corners offensively, and continued putting shots up with under a minute remaining in the game.

“I’ve been preaching to this team all season long to finish in front of the cage, and we have done a very nice job of doing that,” Hollamon said. “In the first half we didn’t today, obviously we had our chances. In the second half we just really clicked and we’re passing the ball well and finishing.”

Milford’s junior goalkeeper Leah Barnett made 16 saves on Delmar’s 20 shots, but Fleming’s offense was unable to put any of the team’s six shots past Delmar’s junior goalkeeper Madison Blewitt.

Outscoring opponents Lake Forest and Milford in the first two rounds of the tournament by a combined 9-1, Hollamon hopes to see her team’s offensive success carry over into the next round.

Kemp is responsible for five of those nine goals, scoring a hat trick in the team’s 5-1 first round win over the Spartans.

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