CLAYMONT — Archmere got scoring from nine players, holding off a pesky Wilmington Friends squad, in a 14-7 victory in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA boys lacrosse state tournament on May 28 in Claymont. The Auks advance to the semifinals for the third consecutive season.
The Auks hosted the Quakers just two weeks before their postseason matchup, a 12-6 win for Archmere. As in that one, the No. 9 seed Quakers stuck close, but could not overcome top-seeded Archmere.
The Auks got off to a good start by winning the opening faceoff, and just 54 seconds in, Drew Duncan took advantage, scoring on a turnaround shot. That was it for the next five minutes. A Quakers turnover proved costly, as Conor Udovich scooped up a loose ball and found Cole Fenice, who sliced his way up the middle before beating Friends keeper Xingyu Wang.
Cole Morris got Friends on the board on a follow shot with 5:04 left in the first, but the Auks answered immediately. After a win on the draw, Vince Scibello went top shelf while absorbing a cross-check. The Auks were aggressive on defense all day, and they capitalized on Friends’ errors to score twice more before the end of the first for a 5-1 lead. Jackson Redd salvaged a goal for the Quakers, scoring with just 30 seconds remaining on a long shot that got past Archmere’s Conor France.
Wang opened the second by stoning an Auk on a chance, but Archmere retained possession. There was no stopping the next shot, with Duncan hitting on a jump shot with 10:20 left in the half.
Udovich and Redd traded tallies in the middle of the second, and Danny Kupiec increased the Archmere lead to 8-3 with a shot that may have been deflected with four minutes to go. Again, the Quakers struck in the closing seconds. This time, it was Nick Winchell who hit from long and low with just four ticks on the clock until halftime.
The Auks pulled away just a bit in the third. Udovich hit from distance on a delayed penalty to make it 9-4. Alex Im ended a long Archmere possession with a goal at the 7:58 mark. Kupiec scored with 7:02 to go, the third Auks goal in a 1:50 span. Winchell needed just 34 seconds to post the Quakers’ lone goal of the quarter, but Jack O’Neill scored man-up shortly thereafter to give the Auks a 12-5 lead after three.
France flashed his skills in the early moments of the fourth, coming up with a quality kick save. That energized the Auks, and Alex Starnes scored his second of the day in quick fashion with a bouncer that pushed the advantage to a game-high eight goals. Friends was markedly better in the second half taking care of the ball and controlling draws, but they could not get the deficit below seven.
Kupiec led the Auks with three goals, while Duncan, Starnes and Udovich each had a pair. France finished with eight saves. Archmere (16-1) will meet fifth-seeded Cape Henlopen in the first semifinal on June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Abessinio Stadium. The No. 2 seed, Salesianum, will host third-seeded Sanford in the nightcap, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Winchell and Redd each had two for the Quakers, who finished the season 10-7.
All photos by Jason Winchell.