Tower Hill ousts Polytech 11-10 in girls’ lacrosse semifinals

DOVER — Polytech High knew there was no guarantee it would get back to the state finals.

Not with Tower Hill standing in the Panthers’ way on Thursday night.

Sure enough, the third-seeded Hillers were too much in the second half, rallying for an 11-10 victory over No. 2 Polytech in the DIAA girls’ lacrosse state semifinals at Wesley College’s Miller Stadium.

So rather than a rematch of last year’s state championship game, top-seeded Cape Henlopen (16-1) will take on the Hillers (14-3) in Tuesday’s state title contest. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Miller Stadium.

The Vikings, who downed Caravel, 20-7, in Thursday’s first semifinal, will be going after the program’s eighth straight state crown.

The Panthers (14-3) hadn’t lost to an instate school other than Cape in the last two seasons before Thursday’s setback.

“I was very proud of them,” said Polytech coach Lynn Richardson. “But you can’t win a game like that scoring three goals in the second half — and really we only had one for most of the half.

“We didn’t get draw control for a couple when they went on that roll. They have a great defense. … I don’t know how many posts we hit either. We hit a couple pipes — just unlucky.”

Against Tower Hill, Polytech jumped out to a 7-5 halftime lead after scoring twice in the final 35 seconds of the half. But the Hillers limited the Panthers to only one goal in the first 21 minutes of the second half as they eventually took control.

Senior Abby Manning netted seven goals for the Hillers. She reeled off three straight goals in a two-minute span to give Tower Hill the lead for good at 9-8 with 9:50 remaining.

The Hillers’ lead grew to 11-8 before Polytech made a late comeback of its own.

Jamie Trabaudo scored with 4:09 remaining to get the Panthers within 11-9. But Ali McKay’s goal at the final buzzer was too little too late.

McKay raised her arms in celebration for a moment before the Hillers stormed onto the field to celebrate their victory.

McKay and Trabaudo, Polytech’s two senior All-Staters, tallied three goals apiece. Kate Richardson and Maddi McKay added two goals each.

“We knew this was going to be the most competitive game of the tournament,” said Richardson. “I was just proud of my kids’ effort. They didn’t quit.”

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