Three-peat: Delmar blanks Caravel 5-0 for Division II field hockey championship

Delmar head coach Jodi Hollamon huddles with her team on the sidelines as the game clock ticked off the final seconds giving the Wildcats a 5-0 over Caravel Academy and the Division II championship. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

NEWARK — Delmar High’s field hockey team wasn’t perfect this fall.

The Wildcats did allow one goal, after all.

Other than that, however, top-seeded Delmar didn’t do much wrong all season as it made it three state championships in a row with a commanding 5-0 victory over No. 2 Caravel in the DIAA Division II state finals on Friday night at Rullo Stadium.

For a program that has now won 43 straight games, Delmar finishes 18-0 while outscoring its opponents by a remarkable 117-1 margin.

Ella Shockley of Delmar closes in on Caravel’s Miranda Porretta.

“It’s just amazing knowing that we can be three-time state champions,” said senior Ashlyn Carr, who had a goal and assist on Friday. “It was an amazing season. It was so perfect. My senior year, going out like that is so amazing.”

“Every year is different,” said Wildcats’ coach Jodi Hollaman, whose team is ranked fifth nationally. “This year we just had so many players who were not selfish. We have 18 players who scored goals.”

The Wildcats’ stats in Friday’s game were fittingly one-sided. Against a Caravel squad (16-2), whose only previous loss this year was against Polytech, Delmar finished with advantages of 19-0 in shots and 10-0 in penalty corners.

Delmar senior Hailey Bitters runs toward head coach Jodi Hollamon after they won the Divison II championship Friday night.

The Wildcats surrendered just 17 corners all season.

One of Delmar’s players who was in her first state championship game — eighth-grader Maci Bradford — led the Wildcats on Friday by scoring their first two goals and adding an assist.

“They were always encouraging me and they were always there for me,” Bradford said about her older teammates. “They just picked us up.

“Just keep up the intensity,” Bradford said they told her. “Just keep going and don’t back down.”

The Wildcats dominated from the start of the contest, building a 3-0 lead by halftime.

Bradford’s first goal came at 23:49 mark as she lofted a shot into the upper left side of the cage. With 9:09 left in the first half, Bradford scored again, this time on a long shot off an assist from Carr.

Delmar senior Hailey Bitters hugs head coach Jodi Hollamon after they won 5-0 over Caravel Academy.

Carr, who’s going to call Rullo Stadium her home field when she joins Delaware in college, then put the icing on the cake in the first half.

With just 2:22 left before intermission, Carr dribbled past a couple Caravel defenders, into the circle and put in a shot on the left side to give Delmar its 3-0 cushion. The Wildcats held a commanding 15-0 edge in shots in the first 30 minutes.

Delmar’s advantage could have been even bigger if weren’t for the goal-tending of Caravel’s Karli Cauley, who finished with 14 saves.

Delmar’s Ashlyn Carr advances the ball upfield.

Finally, though, the Wildcats polished off the victory with goals from Paige Lynch and Anna Webster in the final 11 minutes.

While Delmar is losing seven seniors to graduation, they also had four eighth-graders on this year’s team. The Wildcats will be favored to keep winning until somebody stops them.

“Each year we lose some outstanding seniors,” said Hollaman. “And we try to replace them. That’s going to be difficult this year. We have some very, very strong seniors that are leaving and moving on to college field hockey.

“We want to enjoy this first and then I’ll think about the future. The potential is there for these kids that are younger.

“We have a mix of young and old,” she added. “Teams can be successful when you have that. If you have to rely on just one group of seniors that are key, then that’s when you’re in trouble. We haven’t had to do that. We’ve been able, year after year, to replace what we’ve lost.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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