Riders defeat Wilmington Friends 12-5 to reach boys lacrosse title game

BEAR — For the first time in five years, Caesar Rodney High will have a chance to play for a boys’ lacrosse state championship.

The second-seeded Riders downed Wilmington Friends 12-5 in the semifinals on Wednesday night at Caravel Academy. CR advanced to play Salesianum on either Friday or Saturday night at a time and location to be determined.

Jared Wagenhoffer scored four goals to pace the Riders.

“It’s pretty huge,” he said of making the finals. “We’ve been talking about this since December, since workouts. Now it’s time and it’s ready to go.”

Salesianum, the top seed, defeated Cape Henlopen 11-6 on Wednesday in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader.

The Sals have won the last three state championships.

Caesar Rodney has not made the state title game since 2013. The Riders fell to Salesianum in the matchup.

Despite multiple trips to the semifinals since then, Caesar Rodney had not been able to get back to the championship until now.

“It’s awesome because it’s been a goal since the beginning of the year is to play on that last day,” said CR coach Matt Faircloth. “We’ve wanted to practice for as long as we’re allowed to.”

Wilmington Friends led early at 2-1 but the Riders were able to take a 3-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Caesar Rodney did not trail for the rest of the game. It went up 6-3 at halftime and held the Quakers to only two goals in the second half.

“I liked our ability to control the tempo,” Faircloth said. “That was very important to us as we came into this game. I felt like we got a little outside ourselves early and allowed them to capitalize on some of our mistakes. I thought we were able to settle in and control the ball.”

“We had to stay calm and keep our heads in the game,” Wagenhoffer said. “We went on a run there and its was great defense, great offense and great play.”

Demetrius Stevenson and James Cava each netted a pair of goals and had an assist for Caesar Rodney. Josh Cosden also scored twice.
Noah Longest recorded both a goal and an assist.

Wagenhoffer said the biggest key for the Riders’ balanced attack was making the extra pass.

“Respecting the one-more and giving the open guy the shot,” Wagenhoffer said. “With great offense comes great goals.”

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