Smyrna, Dover battle to 0-0 field hockey tie

Smyrna’s Alexis Moore chases the ball as Dover’s Chelsea Johnson follows during Thursday night’s field hockey game at Dover. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — Both Smyrna High and Dover High needed a win Thursday to help their state tournament profiles.

It turns out, neither of them got it.

Smyrna and Dover tied 0-0 in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division field hockey contest on Thursday night. Both teams had their chances to score in overtime but both defenses were up to the task.

Senators goalie Kyra Woodard kicks away a Smyrna goal attempt in the first half.

Smyrna moved to 8-3-1 on the season while Dover is now 5-6-1. The two teams are still in the picture for the eight-team Division I field hockey tournament field and they each have three games left on their schedules.

“We knew it was going to be a battle like it is every year,” said Smyrna coach Nicki Shirey. “It was definitely tough one. They have quick, fast girls like we do. Everybody battled out there.”

Dover almost found the winning goal in the game’s final two minutes.

Smyrna’s Alexis Moore reaches in for the ball as Dover’s Kendra Durrington pursues at Dover.

The Senators had a pair of penalty corners as the clock ticked away. Their best chance pounded off the pads of Smyrna goalie Katelynn Porter.

Smyrna nearly scored a couple times in overtime. One was cleared off the line by Dover defender Kendra Durrington while the other was pushed just wide of the cage.

Porter again kept the Senators off the board with another pad save in overtime. Porter finished with four saves on the night.

Emma Crowe also recorded a defensive save for Dover. Kyra Woodard made six saves in the cage for the Senators.

Smyrna’s Julie Snow hits the ball as a Dover player defends at Dover.

Smyrna out-shot Dover 10-6. The Eagles also held a 13-12 edge in penalty corners.

While neither team was able to come away with the victory, both know what they have to do to make the tournament.

Dover has games against Mount Pleasant, Lake Forest and Sussex Central left on the schedule and the Senators need victories in all of them.

“We got to win out and hope other people lose,” said Dover coach Denise Kimbro. “We just got to wait and see how it plays out.”

The Senators reached the state semifinals a year ago but are relying on a much younger squad this season.

There are no seniors on the varsity team this year. The Senators have five freshmen starters and four more sophomores on the roster.
“I think that the future is very bright and promising, seriously,” Kimbro said. “All the little things we’re making mistakes on now, I’ll take it, because next year we won’t make them.”

On the other hand, Smyrna is trying to ride a senior-laden team to the postseason.

The Eagles still have to play Cape Henlopen, Lake Forest and Middletown. They are trying to make the state tournament for the first time in the last 10 years.

“We’re settling in,” Shirey said. “We know what we need to do to get into the tournament and they set that goal. We know from here on out we’ve got to give 110 percent. I have all the faith in them and we’re ready for tournament play.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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