Four Catholic schools earned spots in the 12-team girls lacrosse state tournament field, which was announced May 13 by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association. The action begins on Thursday with four first-round games.
Archmere enters as the second seed. The Auks finished the regular season at 13-2, losing only to the top seed, undefeated Cape Henlopen, and to Padua. Archmere features a senior-heavy roster led by high-scoring Caroline Donovan and Meghan Reilly. They get plenty of scoring support. Maura Smeader is the Auks’ last line of defense. Archmere has one of the stingier defenses in the state, allowing fewer than seven goals per contest.
Archmere will play at home on Saturday at 11 a.m., facing the winner of Wilmington Charter at Polytech. Those schools meet on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The third seed is Ursuline. The Raiders finished the season at 12-3, with all three losses coming to tournament teams, including the two seeded above them. Like Archmere, Ursuline is a veteran team that scores quite a bit. In fact, the Raiders average of 16.7 goals per game is second only to Cape Henlopen, which averages 16.9. Moira Carroll and Jordan Baerga are among their scoring leaders, and Brigid Monahan and Riley Alexander have teamed up to provide solid goalkeeping.
The Raiders also earned a bye. They will host the winner of Smyrna at St. Andrew’s on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Serviam Field. St. Andrew’s defeated Ursuline in overtime on May 13 in the regular-season finale.
The Pandas finished 11-3 in just their fifth season of varsity competition. Their losses all came to tournament teams: Polytech, Tower Hill and Ursuline. Rachel Delate and Jordan Bramble lead Padua’s prolific offense; the Pandas’ average of 16.1 goals per game is good enough for third in the state. Aimee Cathers has stood tall in goal this season.
St. Mark’s has appeared in the state championship game the last two seasons and graduated 10 seniors from the 2018 club. They finished the season 8-6, including 5-2 in their last seven contests. All six of their losses came to tournament entrants. Megan Noonan and Sadie Leonard, both seniors, are the offensive anchors of the Spartans, while Jackie Stofa is a steadying presence in net.
The winner of Thursday’s game will travel to Tower Hill for a meeting with the third-seeded Hillers on Saturday at 11 a.m. Tower defeated both the Pandas and Spartans this season.