CAMDEN – Cape Henlopen scored six straight goals in the middle quarters to take a five-goal lead, then withstood a couple of rallies by Salesianum to take the 2019 Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association boys lacrosse title, 12-10, on June 6 at Caesar Rodney High School. The Vikings won their first title since 2014, when they also defeated the Sals.
Seven players scored for the high-powered Cape offense, but the top star of the night may have been goalkeeper Baxter Travers. The junior stopped 14 Sallies shots, including a few from point-blank range. The Vikings, the top seed, took advantage of enough offensive opportunities to overcome a solid performance in net by Sals keeper Jake Marchiafava, who was credited with nine saves.
Logan Falconetti struck first at the 9:35 mark of the first to put the Sals ahead as he beat Travers high. Sallies led, 2-1, after one quarter, but the Vikings knotted the score on a man-up situation as Jack Dennis scored from long distance with 9:54 left in the half. The Sals answered immediately, as Matteo Gariffo won the faceoff and streaked down the middle of the field, finding the back of the net just six seconds later.
That, however, would be the Sals’ last goal for a while. In the interim, Cape found its stroke.
Gabe Best tied the game for the third time at 3-3, getting free in front of Marchiafava with 9:06 left. That was the final tally until the final second of the half. Cape worked the ball for much of the last minute, but with just seconds remaining, James Heid had the ball about 20 yards from the net. He passed to Luke D’Ambrogi, who found a cutting Best close to Marchiafava. Best’s goal gave the Vikings the lead with .9 seconds on the clock, and momentum heading into the second half.
The third quarter was all Cape. Greg Boyce went with a bouncer to score 95 seconds in. Travers stopped Chris Wong shortly thereafter one-on-one. D’Ambrogi fired a turnaround shot high into the net for a 6-3 lead at the 6:08 mark. A minute later, it was Adem Tekmen’s turn, as he came from behind the net to go top shelf. Another minute passed before Boyce struck with a lefthanded shot from distance. The lead was 8-3 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Sallies’ scoring touch returned in the fourth. Wong took a pass from Bradley Santore and beat Travers high just 50 seconds into the quarter. Colby Bushweller came from behind the net and also went high at the 9:57 mark. Chad Cannon scored on a bouncer just 40 seconds later, and just like that, the Sals trailed by only two, 8-6.
The Vikings withstood that assault, however, and added two more goals before Santore found Falconetti at the side of the net with a beautiful pass. Falconetti’s tally made it 10-7. Wong scored on a give-and-go with Cannon with 5:48 to go as the Sals closed to within a pair again. But Cape again responded with another pair, including a lefty strike in a man-up situation by Blake Gipko that restored the four-goal lead.
Wong scored one more before Marchiafava and Travers traded saves. Dylan Mooney capitalized on a steal by the Sals, taking a long pass and connecting with 22.8 seconds to go for the final margin.
Wong had three goals to lead the Sals, who finished the season at 11-8. Falconetti had a pair, and Brady McGovern, Bushweller, Mooney, Cannon and Gariffo each added one. The Sals only two defeats to Delaware teams came at the hands of Cape Henlopen.
For the Vikings, Dennis had three goals, and Best, D’Ambrogi and Boyce chipped in with a pair apiece. Tekmen, Gipko and Heid each had a single goal. Cape finished the season 17-2 and no losses to Delaware opponents.