NEWARK – Second-seeded Padua played in its first field hockey championship game on Nov. 16 at the University of Delaware. The Pandas had a superb season, but it ended with a 5-0 shutout loss at the hands of the top seed, Cape Henlopen, which won its second straight Division I title.
The Vikings controlled play early on the cold evening, earning numerous penalty corners in the first three minutes. The Vikings would get on the board shortly after their fourth corner as Noelle Sabbagh scored to make it 1-0.
The Pandas’ defense was strong, and goalkeeper Shannon McCormac was standing on her head in goal. She made three very good saves to keep the Pandas down 1-0. The Vikings would add a pretty goal with 3:21 left in the first half when off a penalty corner Anna Stancofski deflected a shot chin-high past McCormac for a 2-0 lead. The Pandas earned a penalty corner as time expired – their second of the half – but couldn’t capitalize.
The Vikings would add two quick goals in the first five minutes of the second half. Alia Marshall scored two minutes in off another penalty corner. Jackie Cannon would make it 4-0 two minutes later as Cape continued to apply the pressure.
Riley Hickox and Caitlin Stoddard would try to get the Padua offense going, but the Vikings’ defense was strong all night. The Vikings picked up the final goal in the last five minutes to seal the deal.
It was Cape’s eighth state championship, the second in Division I in the two seasons that two divisions have been contested. The Vikings finished with a 17-1 record.
The Pandas finished their best season at 16-2, with both losses coming to Cape Henlopen. Official statistics were not available late Friday night, but, unofficially, McCormac made 15 saves.