CLAYMONT – Archmere lost the opening faceoff of its boys lacrosse first-round DIAA tournament game on May 22 against Smyrna, leading to two chances for the Eagles in the opening minute of play. Auks goalkeeper Vaughn DiBattista made both saves, and Archmere took over after that. The Auks rolled to a 15-3 win, advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
The Auks, seeded fifth in the 16-team bracket, opened the scoring less than four minutes in. Playing a man up, the Auks got on the board when Nolan Collins came from behind the net to beat Eagles keeper Matt Miller with 8:02 to go in the first. Cole Bauer got on the board two minutes later, taking a pass from Mitch Moyer and firing the left-handed shot home.
Bauer and Collins teamed up for the third Archmere goal. Collins found himself all alone in front of Miller, and Bauer hit his teammate with a long pass. That came just 25 seconds after the previous tally.
The Auks kept up the pressure, scoring three more goals before the Eagles could answer. Moyer found the net from the top of the circle, and Brian Neill whipped one far side. Archmere fought off a penalty late in the first, and Collins scored his second of the quarter with just 39 ticks on the clock. Moyer picked up the assist on this goal as well, finding Collins all alone while laying on his back after fighting for a loose ball.
Ashton Pelton ended the Eagles’ drought at the 32-second mark, scoring after a Smyrna faceoff win.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. Smyrna, the 12th seed, picked up its only goal in a man-up situation on a shot by Cullen Porter, but the Auks kept bringing the firepower.
Two consecutive Eagles penalties were costly, as Collins scored on a spin move on the advantage, followed by Neill on a wraparound a few minutes later. Neil completed his hat trick late in the second, and the Auks took a 10-2 lead into intermission.
DiBattista came up big early in the third, stopping a shot during an Eagles man-up situation. The teams traded the first two goals of the quarter, but Smyrna again was hurt by penalties later on. With two Eagles banished to the sidelines, Moyer again scored from up top to make it 12-3 Auks. The Eagles went a man up late in the third, but the Auks defenders sacrificed their bodies to stop a few shots. Archmere’s Darren DiRenzo had to leave the game briefly after taking a shot off his left quad, but it was a bruise he was happy to show off to his teammates.
With the game well in hand, coach Peter Duncan was able to get many of his reserves into the game for much of the fourth quarter. Conor France replaced DiBattista in goal, and he turned away the few shots the Eagles were able to send his way.
Collins, Bauer and Moyer each scored four times for the Auks, and Neill had the other three. Final statistics were not available late Wednesday night. Archmere improved to 12-4 and will travel to No. 4 Sanford on Saturday. The start time is noon, and admission is $5. Sanford defeated the Auks, 12-10, on April 13.
Smyrna’s third goal was scored by Zack Kolakowski. The Eagles finished the season at 12-4.