Local roundup: Delmar wins D-II semifinal, eyes 5th straight hockey title

Delmar’s Emily Bitters (19) receives a hug from teammate Jordyn Hollamon (13) after Bitters scored a goal against Newark Charter during Wednesday’s Division II state tournament semifinal field hockey game at Sussex Academy. Delmar won easily 9-0. Special to the Delaware State News/Butch Comegys

Back in the fall, this was a season that looked like it might not get played.

And Delmar High field hockey coach Jodi Hollamon never forgot that it’s a season that could be shut down at any moment.

So to have the Wildcats be unbeaten and headed for another state championship game makes this pretty special for her.

Top-seeded Delmar earned its sixth-straight appearance in the state finals by downing No. 4 Newark Charter, 9-0, in the DIAA Division II semifinals on Wednesday afternoon.

The Wildcats (14-0) will try to make it five state crowns in a row when they face second-seeded Caravel (12-2) on Saturday at Dover High at 11:30 a.m. The Buccaneers (12-2), who lost to Delmar, 3-0, in the last game of the regular season, took their spot in the finals with a 2-1 OT win over No. 3 Archmere.

Delmar goalkeeper Kelly Davis watches teammate Logan Dean (7) react after their semifinal victory.

“It definitely is exciting to get back (to the title game) especially with the roller coaster season,” said Hollamon, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “If you had asked in September if we would even have this opportunity and get this far. … to have it right on the fingertips Saturday, yeah, we’re very excited and fortunate to even be a part of it.

“It’s worry every single day,” she added. “But then you have to remind yourself that it’s things that are out of your control. You hope that every day you step out on the field and play like it’s your last opportunity to play.”

Wednesday’s victory over the Patriots (11-1) was Delmar’s second 9-0 win in a row. The Wildcats have now out-scored their opponents 89-1 this season.

Delmar goalkeeper Kelly Davis makes a diving save against Newark Charter.

Delmar out-shot Newark Charter 28-0 and held an 18-1 in corners. Newark Charter goalie Riley Redding, an eighth-grader, made 20 saves with her teammates adding seven defensive saves.

Maci Bradford and Lilly Waters both scored twice for the Wildcats as seven Delmar players scored in the game. Josie Hollamon (4 assists), Olivia Twilley, Jordyn Hollamon, Emily Bitters and Morgan Bradford (1 assist) all added goals.

Delmar led 5-0 at halftime.

The Wildcats will be playing in the state championship game for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons and for the 10th time in their history. Delmar is 4-5 in state finals after losing in its first five appearances.

Delmar’s Maci Bradford, left, tangles up for the ball against Newark Charter’s MaryCatherine Anson.

Delmar also owns a 76-game winning streak overall.

The Wildcats’ 3-0 win over Caravel was one of their closest contests of the season. Delmar only out-shot the Bucs, 12-8, while both squads had five corners.

Hollamon said her players can’t assume they’re going to win again just because they won the first meeting.

“I always look at it as the playoffs are a different time,” said Hollamon. “You can’t expect the team to be the same as it was during the regular season. It’s a new season for us and we will go into the game learning some things from when we played them. Hopefully we’ll play our game of control, passing field hockey.”

Cape-Polytech game at Dover: Dover High will host the DIAA Division I field hockey state championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Top-seeded Cape Henlopen is facing No. 7 Polytech in a matchup of Henlopen North squads.

Most DIAA state championship games will allow two fans per player from each team to attend. Spectators are encouraged to check each host school’s website to determine each contest’s fan policy as some sites differ.

Boys’ soccer

Indian River 1, Sussex Academy 0: Jordan Illian’s goal just 43 seconds into the contest held up as the top-seeded Indians advanced to the Division II state championship game.

IR (13-2) will play in the state finals for the fifth time since 2013 when it faces No. 2 Newark Charter (11-2) on Saturday at Dover at 4:30 p.m.

In Division I, top-seeded Appoquinimink will take on No. 2 Salesianum for the state title, also at Dover at 1 p.m.

The Seahawks, who were trying to make the school’s first appearance in a state championship game, finish the season at 9-4-1. Sussex Academy lost to IR, 2-0, in the second game of the fall.

College basketball

DSU-UD women reschedule game: The postponed Delaware State-University of Delaware women’s basketball contest has been rescheduled for Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. in DSU’s Memorial Hall.

The contest was originally slated to be played on Dec. 2. Fans will not be permitted to attend, although the game will be streamed live on the DSU YouTube channel with audio provided by the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN.com).

The DSU and UD women will be meeting for the fourth straight season and 13th time overall. Delaware State won for the first time against its First State rival last season, posting a 67-64 victory at the Carpenter Center.

The Hornets are slated to host Lincoln on Dec. 16 (1 p.m.) and visit George Mason (Dec. 21) before the rescheduled contest against the Blue Hens on Dec. 29.

College football

UD sets spring kickoffs: Delaware announced the starting times for its spring football schedule.

All Blue Hen home games will kick off at noon at Delaware Stadium, with the home opener currently scheduled for March 6 against CAA foe Maine.

The season finale, on the road at Villanova, is scheduled for 1 p.m. All other CAA contests will begin at noon.

Additional non-conference contests will be announced at a later date and all games are subject to change.

Ticketing updates and attendance policies will be determined and communicated at a future date if Delaware Athletics is permitted under university, state and local government rules/regulations to have fans attend games in the spring of 2021.