DOVER – St. Mark’s boys lacrosse team went toe to toe with the state’s third-ranked boys lacrosse team, for much of the first quarter on April 14, but the Riders justified their lofty ranking with a 16-6 win at Scott D. Miller Stadium at Wesley College. It was the fifth and final game of the Dave Reynolds Lacrosse Festival at the central Delaware campus.
Things started well enough for the Spartans, as senior attacker Ian Noonan picked up the ball off the opening faceoff, raced 50 yards upfield and buried a laser behing Riders goalkeeper Jacob Stant. His goal energized the sizeable contingent of St. Mark’s fans who made the trip to Dover.
Spartans goalkeeper Kevin Groves kept the good vibes coming with a pair of strong saves in the opening minutes, but the Riders eventually knotted the score when Jared Wagenhoffer found a seam in the St. Mark’s defense, closed in on the cage and ripped one low into the twine. That sparked CR, which added two more in a span of 34 seconds from Demetrius Stevenson and Joshua Cosden.
The Spartans responded in quick fashion. Tadgh Snook picked up a loose ball and went around a defender, scoring from eight yards out, and Liam Kline beat Riders keeper Jacob Stant 23 seconds later, prompting a Caesar Rodney timeout.
The offensive fireworks continued, only this time it was the Riders who provided the spark. Immediately after Kline’s goal, the Riders won the faceoff. Wagenhoffer, Noah Longest and Cosden played tic tac toe, as Cosden found the back of the net to put CR in front to stay with 2:09 remaining. It would be the first of six straight Riders goals. Longest had the final goal of the first quarter, going around the back of the net and putting his shot through the legs of Groves.
More precision offense on the part of the Riders and some Spartans turnovers played a role in Caesar Rodney extending its lead in the second. A misguided St. Mark’s outlet pass ended up with Cosden being left all alone in front of the net, making it 6-3. Longest added another assist as Wagenhoffer tallied, and Stevenson fed Wagenhoffer, who scored high. The final goal of the run came on a wraparound by Longest.
Kline ended the streak, hitting from straight on after Noonan found him. The Riders were rolling, however, seemingly taking advantage of every St. Mark’s miscue and displaying the crisp passing and physical presence that has them among the top teams in Delaware.
Longest and Wagenhoffer each scored four times, while Longest added six assists. Stevenson and Cosden added three apiece for CR, which improved to 6-0. The Riders, who outshot the Spartans, 45-24, host Sussex Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Snook led St. Mark’s with two tallies. The Spartans (2-1) travel to Middletown on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. start.