Sallies blanks CR 7-0 for 10th straight boys soccer title

Caesar Rodney midfielder Brandon Victory goes high to head the ball to a teammate against Salesianum Saturday night. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — The Caesar Rodney High boys’ soccer team made it to the last day of the season.

But like every other team this decade, the Riders fell to Salesianum in the championship game.

The Sals won their 10th consecutive boys’ soccer title, defeating Caesar Rodney 7-0 in the Division I finals on Saturday night at Dover High. The Riders finished the season at 16-3 overall as the state runner-up.

Salesianum was led by Andrew Blackwell and Ethan Hinds, who each recorded a hat-trick.

Rider goalkeeper Zander Omans goes horizontal to save a Salesianum shot in the first half.

The Sals have not only won a title in each of the last 10 seasons but have earned 15 of the last 16 championships. Only Caravel Academy in 2009 has stopped the Sals from winning 16 in a row.

Hinds scored the first goal in the 11th minute before Blackwell added a pair for a 3-0 halftime lead.

“They did get control early,” said Caesar Rodney coach Darrell Gravatt. “Not much went our way. But we had a great season. I’m real proud of the guys. We’re the best public school in the state again this year. We went 7-0 in our division, were conference champs for the third time and made the state finals, got to play on the last day. That’s a good season.”

Blackwell scored the first goal of the second half for his hat-trick before Hinds netted back-to-back goals. William Mahoney rounded out the scoring for Salesianum with five minutes remaining.

Saturday was Caesar Rodney’s first trip back to the state championship game since 2014, when it fell to Salesianum 2-1. The Riders have made it to at least the state semifinals three seasons in a row.

Lyod Coutilien blocks an inbound throw from getting to Nicholas O’Haire Saturday night.

The Riders dropped to 1-4 all-time in boys’ soccer state title games. Caesar Rodney’s last championship came in 1994, when it defeated McKean 2-1. Three of those four state championship defeats have come against Salesianum.

The Riders will graduate 11 seniors from this year’s squad.

“It’s a great season for them,” Gravatt said. “We’re real proud of them. They’re champions. There were only four teams left playing today out of 57 soccer teams so that’s pretty good. Only one of those teams was a public school. We get who we get and we got some great players and some good guys. The most important thing is your character and these are wonderful guys.”

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