Undefeated Delmar hands Vikings first hockey loss 4-0

Delmar freshman Laura Rogers battles Cape Henlopen’s Emma Duffield for control of the ball Tuesday afternoon. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

DELMAR — Scoring an early goal tends to take a little bit of pressure off a team.

That could be why Delmar High coach Jodi Hollamon thought Josie Hollamon’s goal within the first two minutes of Tuesday afternoon’s field hockey showdown against Cape Henlopen High was so crucial.

The Wildcats used the early momentum to cruise to a 4-0 home shutout of the Vikings in a battle between the two defending state championship teams.

“That was huge,” coach Hollamon said. “It got the momentum rolling and got the nervous jitters out and allowed them to feel confident in what they’re doing on the field.

“It’s always a high-intensity game with Cape. It’s a great rivalry and it makes for great hockey.”

It marks the third straight victory over the defending Division I state champion Vikings (5-1), dating to 2017, and extended unbeaten Delmar’s shutout streak to 15 games.

Sophomore Ella Shockley turned in a two-goal performance, while Hollamon and Morgan Bradford netted one each.

Cape’s Emma Duffield tries to prevent Delmar’s Ella Shockley from taking the ball up field in the second half Tuesday afternoon.

It was Shockley’s second consecutive two-goal performance, giving her six goals in five games.

“Ella seems to put herself in the right place at the right time,” said Jodi Hollamon. “Finishing in front of the goal cage on that left side is key because we have a lot of players working hard to get it to her. She’s been finishing there really well.”

The Wildcats (5-0), last year’s Division II champions, topped Cape in penalty corners, 18-1, and registered 17 shots to Cape’s one.

“Cape did a great job, they’re a well-coached team and they did exactly what they needed to do to stop our players in the center of the field,” Jodi Hollamon said.

“They play great defense, they make great block tackles and we just didn’t finish on our corners. The ball bounced a little on our lovely grass, but other than that we still executed enough to take the win.”

Goalkeeper Kelly Davis made a nice save on Cape’s lone shot of the game, while Cape goalie Marlee Geppert registered 10 saves.

Hollamon’s quick goal was her eighth of the season and put Delmar ahead 1-0 just 1:43 into the game thanks to an assist from Morgan Bradford on a penalty corner attempt.

From there, Delmar’s front line was able to control most of the first half as the Wildcats piled up eight corners.

Shockley netted a goal off a Logan Walls assist to extend the lead to 2-0 at the 14:47 mark.

“I saw it come in and I thought Logan was going to score it, honestly,” Shockley said. “But then she just tipped it to me behind her and I was like, ‘I got it.’ I thought she was going to forehand it, but it just came right to me.”

Morgan Bradford looks to get past a Cape defender inside the circle during Tuesday’s showdown.

Cape managed to put some pressure on Delmar’s back line late in the first half and early in the second half, but Delmar took back control of the game when Morgan Bradford scored her goal with 19:17 remaining to put her team ahead, 3-0.

Senior midfielder Morgan Fletcher recorded her third assist of the season on the play.

Shockley’s second goal at the 7:32 mark, assisted by freshman Maci Bradford, capped the scoring for the Wildcats.

“It was kind of the same thing, Maci was right there, and it tipped off her stick and I just hit it in the air right on the post,” said Shockley.

While Hollamon would like to have seen more production and execution out of the team’s 18 corner attempts, she was impressed by what her back line and her goalkeeper Davis did against Cape’s attack.

“The defense did a nice job today,” she said. “Kelly is doing a nice job talking to them in the backfield and keeping them under control. They’re stepping up when they need to. We talk all the time about doing the simple and not trying to do anything extra and they’ve done a nice job at that.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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