Senators top Concord 2-0, advance to Division I hockey semifinals

Dover’s Taylor Hutchins (20) celebrates with teammates after her goal against Concord in the first half at Dover. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — A goal in each half and a stout defense did the job for the Dover High field hockey team on Thursday afternoon.

Taylor Hutchins and Chelsea Johnson each scored as the Senators downed Concord High 2-0 in the first round of the DIAA Division I state tournament. Dover, the fourth seed, advanced to the semifinals, where it will meet No. 8 Sussex Tech.

Dover’s Jacarra Jackson reaches for the ball against Concord’s Jenna Mckelvey in the first half at Dover.

The semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday at Rullo Stadium on the campus of the University of Delaware. Game times have not been determined yet.

Dover, which has won a first round tournament game two of the last three seasons, needed less than 10 minutes to get on the board thanks to Hutchins.

“It’s a lot more intense,” Hutchins said of the state tournament atmosphere. “High-intensity, but I think we played well. It felt really good to score early but we didn’t let up and scored again.”

Hutchins’ goal came off a penalty corner. She took the ball after it was crossed in and smacked it across the face of goal to the far post.

“I knew for our corner I needed to look up and hit opposite post,” Hutchins said.

The game stayed 1-0 until early in the second half.

Dover’s Jada Kilgore reaches for the ball against Concord in the first half at Dover.

Jacarra Jackson created a clear scoring opportunity when he dribbled 20 yards, weaving in and out of the Concord defense. When she reach the cage, Jackson slotted the ball into the center of the box.

Johnson, a freshman playing in her first state tournament game, was there to knock it in.

“It was just rushing through and not giving up,” Johnson said. “I think that was a really good assist. That ball is rolling really fast. You’ve just got to be paying attention.”

Concord didn’t have many scoring opportunities as Dover controlled possession throughout the contest. The Raiders’ best scoring chance came two minutes into the second half but was denied when Aimee Petitdemange cleared a ball of the line.

Dover now carries a four-game winning streak and has won six of its last seven.

Dover’s Ally Manifold stops the ball against Concord’s Katherine Raab duiring the first half at Dover.

This is the third state tournament for this group of Dover seniors, a fact which coach Denise Kimbro said helped the Senators take control of the game.

“They weren’t nervous because most of them this is their third tournament,” Kimbro said. “Playing at home has its advantages. We’ve played pretty well this year. I don’t think this was their best game, we played very well not to take anything anyway, but it wasn’t as fast-paced as we can be. Concord started playing slow, and we’re used to playing fast-paced.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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