Miller gets 21 saves, Smyrna defeats Dover 6-4 in boys lacrosse

SMYRNA — There were so many shots for Matt Miller to save, the Smyrna High senior goalie gave up on trying to keep track.
“I stopped counting,” Miller said with a chuckle.

Very few of those shots found the net, though.

It all added up to a career-high save total for Miller.

Miller made 21 saves to lead Smyrna to a 6-4 victory at home against Dover High in a boys’ lacrosse Henlopen Conference Northern Division matchup on Wednesday. The performance kept Smyrna unbeaten as the Eagles moved to 5-0.

Cullen Porter’s hat-trick paced the Smyrna offense. Jason Zeitler, Ashton Pelton and Hunter McGuire also scored for the Eagles.
“We were playing really unselfish and moving the ball well,” Porter said. “I was shooting well today.”

The four goals allowed were the most in a single game by Smyrna all season.

The Eagles have only given up 10 goals through the first five games. That includes two shutouts.

“This is probably the best defense I’ve ever coached,” said Smyrna coach Mike Zulkowski. “They’re really cerebral, they’re smart and they’re very aggressive on the ball which is what we preach here.”

That defense held Dover to one goal in the first half but the Senators were able to mount a rally to start the third quarter.

The Senators netted three unanswered goals after trailing 4-1 at halftime. Thomas Gill’s goal with 4:08 left in the third allowed Dover to tie the game.

Miller kept everything else out of the net the rest of the way.

“I didn’t want to let my team down so I tried to play my hardest,” Miller said.

McGuire tallied the game-winner with 2:33 left in the third quarter. Porter finished his hat-trick as he notched a key insurance goal with 5:14 remaining in the fourth.

Gill and Demetrius Cave-Martin scored two goals apiece to lead Dover (5-2).

Wednesday was Smyrna’s first victory over the Senators since 2015. The Eagles lost by a goal last year and suffered back-to-back two-goal losses in the two years prior.

“I believe this year, more than any other year, the team is really unified,” Porter said. “We all love each other and we’re like a family. We all work super hard at practice to better each other.”

“It’s how hard the kids worked in the offseason,” added Zulkowski. “I’ve been really impressed with the amount of work they put in to their stick skills and their commitment to the game.”

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