WILMINGTON — Salesianum’s DIAA boys lacrosse semifinal matchup with Archmere played out in a familiar fashion to those who have watched the Sals all season.
Sallies, the second seed in the tournament, overwhelmed the third-seeded Auks, scoring the first 12 goals of the game on the way to a convincing 17-3 victory on May 25 at Abessinio Stadium. The Sals will face Cape Henlopen on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Dover High School in a rematch of the 2019 title tilt, won by the Vikings.
Control of the faceoff circle and pressure defense from the Sals caused havoc all night, and both led directly to several goals for the home team. Caelan Driggs got the Sals on the board at the 10:10 mark after a steal. The second goal was scored by Colby Bushweller, who pried the ball away from an Auk with a check, then faked a turnaround shot before whipping one into the net.
The Sals also displayed some finesse, particularly on the third goal. Driggs found Dylan Mooney sneaking in behind the Auks’ defense, and Mooney tucked a one-timer behind Archmere keeper Conor France at the 6:13 mark. A minute and a half later, the Sals turned an Auks turnover into Driggs’ second goal, this one one a lefthanded shot.
The scoring doubled in the second quarter. Griffin McGovern scored both of his goals early in the second, the second on a nifty spin move. Bushweller tried to one-up his teammate with 5:24 tog o until the half with a behind-the-head shot high into the net.
The Auks, cheered on by a sizeable student section, kept at it, and their work paid off in the final second of the half. A Salesianum turnover gave the Auks possession with about eight seconds to go, and Daniel Kupiec beat Sals keeper Jackson Skinner with .7 seconds remaining.
Kupiec picked up an assist a minute into the second half, finding Drew Duncan from behind the net for the second Auks goal. But the Salesianum lead was too large for a comeback.
Final statistics were not available late Tuesday. Unofficially, Driggs led the way with five goals for the Sals, with Bushweller adding three. Mooney and Rowyn Nurry joined McGovern with a pair. The Sals (13-3) and Cape have already played once this season, with Salesianum taking a thriller with a goal in the final seconds.
Alexander Starnes scored the other Archmere goal. The Auks closed out an excellent season at 15-3. Two of those losses were to Salesianum, and the other was to the DIAA tournament’s top seed, Sanford.
All photos by Mike Lang.