Prillaman’s penalty kick lifts Riders past Cape 1-0 for North title

Caesar Rodney’s Jessie Prillaman, who scored the game’s only goal on a second-hald penalty kick, chases the ball against Cape Henlopen in the first half at CR on Tuesday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

CAMDEN — Jessie Prillaman says she has two techniques when taking a penalty kick.

“Some you aim low, and some you just hit as hard as you can and hope for the best,” Prillaman said.

She went with option No. 2 on Tuesday evening.

Prillaman blasted a penalty kick for the lone goal as the Caesar Rodney High girls’ soccer team defeated Cape Henlopen 1-0 in the season finale. The Riders ended Henlopen Conference Northern Division play at 6-0 and wrapped up the regular season at 12-3.

It was also senior night at Caesar Rodney and the five seniors celebrated their fourth Henlopen North championship in a row.

Caesar Rodney’s Julia Zipp battles against Cape’s Josephine Ingerski in the first half.

The Riders will now try to win their fourth-straight Henlopen Conference title on Thursday when they face Southern Division champion Indian River. The conference championship matchup is at 5:30 p.m. at Sussex Academy.

“We feel real good, 6-0 in a tough North Division is a testament to who we are,” said CR coach Darrell Gravatt. “The backline got a shutout against Cape, who is a formidable team. We feel good going into Thursday night.”

The game was tied at halftime 0-0 but both teams were inches away from being out front.

Prillaman had a breakaway effort barely go over the crossbar in the first half. Cape Henlopen goalie Lucy Siranides then made two point-blank saves on headers off CR corner kicks to keep the game scoreless.

Cape goalie Lucy Siranides dives to save a goal against CR.

Cape Henlopen nearly scored less than a minute after one of those saves but CR goalie Morgan Desaulniers slid to deny a possible goal-scoring opportunity as the Vikings got in behind the CR defense. Two CR defenders then deflected a goal-bound shot by Cape’s Brooke Hollingsworth out for a corner kick.

The Riders finally got on the board in the second half when Prillaman’s long range shot deflected off a Cape Henlopen defender’s arm for a handball in the box.

Prillaman followed up with a hard shot high and down the middle.

“I hit it as hard as I could and thankfully it went in,” she said.

“Everybody has a lot of confidence in Jessie,” Gravatt said. “I’m really glad she’s on our team.”

Prillaman said the Riders were confident they were going to score at least once, they out-shot Cape Henlopen 22-11 and held a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.

“It was frustrating not getting the chances to go in but with the amount of chances we had I knew eventually a goal was going to come,” Prillaman said. “I wasn’t too nervous. I knew we had it in us.”

Cape Henlopen’s Leah Marsh and Caesar Rodney’s Macy Ramsey chase the ball in the first half at CR on Tuesday.

Cape Henlopen almost had an equalizer in the final five minutes but the goal from a corner kick was whistled off due to a push in the back.

Desaulniers finished with seven saves for the shutout. Siranides made 11 saves for Cape Henlopen as the Vikings dropped to 11-4 to end the season.

The Riders held a pregame ceremony for their five seniors — Prillaman, Megan Powers, Macy Ramsey, Laynee Ford and Madison Fitzhugh.

“They’ve all played varsity for a long time and I’d like to thank them for their effort,” Gravatt said. “They’re all excellent players. Just a great group.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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