GREENVILLE – Salesianum opened up a lead in a workmanlike first half, then turned on the offense after the intermission in a 15-7 win over No. 6 Tower Hill in the DIAA boys state lacrosse quarterfinal round on May 25. The Sals, seeded third in the tourney, seemed comfortable playing at the Hillers’ home field.
Sallies came out blazing offensively under bright, sunny skies, threatening to end the game before many of the spectators had reached their seats. Brady McGovern was especially hot, scoring three of the team’s first four goals in a span of 4:32. His first tally came just 38 seconds into the contest on a turnaround shot that got past Tower goalie Richie Pierce.
McGovern connected again about a minute later, cutting in front of Pierce, taking a pass from behind the net and scoring. It was Logan Falconetti’s turn at the 7:05 mark. Patrick Boyle intercepted a Hillers pass near the Salesianum goal, ran upfield and found Falconetti. McGovern picked up his hat trick just 15 seconds later. Falconetti had the assist this time, threading the needle to McGovern, who bounced the ball in.
Pierce and Sallies goalkeeper Jake Marchiafava traded saves through the final six minutes of the first, and the Sals took the 4-0 lead into the second. McGovern struck again a minute into the second, finding himself all alone in front of the net and sending a scoop shot home on a man-up situation.
Tower Hill recovered from the initial shock and mustered some offense after that. Sean Beberman got the Hillers on the board with 8:55 left before the half, beating Marchiafava low. Another Tower shot hit the post, and Salesianum found itself down a man after a penalty. Theo Stone took advantage of the man-up situation, scoring long-distance to make it 5-2 and giving their fans something to shout about.
Falconetti and Stone traded goals before the Sals benefited from a fortunate roll. With 4:45 left in the quarter, a Sals shot got loose in front of Pierce. Several players from both teams took shots at the ground ball, and Dylan Mooney of Salesianum swatted it just over the goal line to make it 7-3.
Colin Hodgson brought the Hillers to within three at halftime with a man-up goal at the 3:31 mark.
The Sals came out hot again in the second half, putting the game out of reach by outscoring Tower Hill, 7-1, to take a 14-5 lead. McGovern scored a pair of quick goals, the second on a delayed penalty. Mooney made the Hillers pay for that miscue, scoring on the man-up situation. Falconetti added another goal, and Mooney had two more in the fourth.
Final statistics were not available late Saturday night. The Sals improved to 10-7 and will meet the 10th seed, Caesar Rodney, on Wednesday in one semifinal at a site and time to be determined. CR edged No. 2 Tatnall in overtime on Saturday. Sallies defeated the Riders, 19-5, on May 14.
Tower Hill finished the season at 11-6.
In another quarterfinal, Archmere scored with nine seconds remaining to defeat Sanford, 14-13. Brian Neill had the winning goal. It was Neill’s fifth goal of the afternoon, tying him with Cole Bauer for scoring honors for the fifth-seeded Auks. Vaughn DiBattista had 11 saves for Archmere, who improved to 13-4. The Auks avenged a regular-season loss to the Warriors, who were the tournament’s fourth seed.
The Auks will meet the top seed, Cape Henlopen, in the other semifinal on Wednesday night. The Vikings defeated Delaware Military Academy, 16-2. Cape visited Archmere on April 27 and won, 16-7.