WILMINGTON — Archmere’s boys lacrosse team stayed close to Cape Henlopen for half of their DIAA semifinal tilt June 1 at Abessinio Stadium, but the Vikings turned up the heat in the second half on the way to a 13-6 win and berth in the state title game. Cape and Salesianum are set to meet Saturday for the third straight time in the championship match.
Cape entered the game as the No. 5 seed, and the Auks were No. 1. The result was an upset on paper only, as Cape Henlopen’s three losses all came to powerhouse opponents, including a two-goal decision against Salesianum.
A turnaround jump shot by Drew Duncan midway through the second quarter brought the Auks to within one at 4-3, but Cape picked up two goals before the half, including one from Jacob Schell with a mere 10 seconds left on the clock. The Vikings carried that momentum into the second half, as Hank D’Ambrogi deked around a defender and fired a shot high into the net just 42 seconds in.
Cape continued on the offense, bolstered by a dominant night in the faceoff circle and on ground balls. D’Ambrogi struck again at the 10:06 mark after winning a ground ball. Auks goalkeeper Conor France did everything he could to keep the shots out of the net, but handling the volume from the Vikings was a lot to ask. Three goals in a span of 1:47 allowed Cape Henlopen to open up an 11-3 lead.
Duncan ended the Vikings’ scoring streak at seven goals when he went top shelf midway through the third quarter, and he would add one more in the fourth for the hat trick. Danny Kupiec had Archmere’s final goal, scoring on a follow shot after a big save by Cape’s Evan Erhardt.
D’Ambrogi and Mikey Frederick led the Vikings with four goals each. Erhardt had 10 saves. Cape (14-3) and the Sals will face off at noon Saturday at Caravel Academy. Tickets are available at gofan.co/app/school/DIAA.
Duncan scored four goals for the Auks, while Kupiec and Colin Arcari had the others. France stopped 10 shots. Archmere finished the season 16-2.
All photos by Mike Lang.