BEAR – Cape Henlopen scored three times in the final minute of the first half, opening up a lead in against Archmere in a DIAA boys lacrosse semifinal, and that propelled the Vikings to a 16-9 win over the Auks on May 29 at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy. Cape remained undefeated heading into the state championship match, scheduled for this weekend.
The three goals gave the top-seeded Vikings a 7-3 halftime lead, and they would score the first four goals of the second half to increase their advantage to eight. The Auks, who were the tournament’s fifth seed, found the scoring touch late but were unable to get any closer than six goals down the stretch.
When the Auks hosted the Vikings on April 27, Cape scored the first six goals on the way to a 16-7 victory. Archmere players were not about to let that scenario repeat itself. Three and a half minutes into the opening period, Cole Bauer cut in front of Vikings goalkeeper Baxter Travers and buried one high for the 1-0 lead.
Cape equalized less than a minute later, with James Heid scoring on a left-handed shot from distance. The defenses tightened up after that, with shots at a premium for several minutes. Travers and his Archmere counterpart, Vaughn DiBattista, both added quality saves during that stretch. Gabe Best put the Vikings in front with 3:01 to go on another long shot, and they would not trail again.
Best scored again 16 seconds after his first goal, but the Auks got one of those back on a man-up situation with 1:25 to go. Cole Bauer fed Brian Neill, who found the net.
Jack Dennis added one more goal early in the second before Mother Nature made her presence felt. The game was stopped and the field cleared with 10:17 on the clock after officials spotted lightning in the distance. The teams took cover in the locker rooms, and many of the spectators headed to their cars, and over the next hour-plus, everyone waited while thunder, lightning and, eventually, rain, made its way through the area. The game restarted close to 8 p.m. and finished without further delay.
Both keepers were clutch out of the delay, keeping the score at 4-2 before Mitch Moyer scored his first of the evening on a turnaround shot. His goal, with the assist to Nolan Collins, was the culmination of nearly three minutes of possession for the Auks.
The deficit was one as the clock ticked under a minute, but that’s when Cape’s prolific offense struck in quick succession. Best hit with 52 seconds to go, bouncing one in. Heid took the ball off a restart, streaked downfield and scored with 19 seconds on the clock, and, after the Vikings won the faceoff, #11 whipped in a shot with just one second left until halftime.
Cape Henlopen kept up the offense after halftime. Greg Boyce struck first on a turnaround shot. Best was true in a man-up situation midway through the third quarter. Heid and Luke D’Ambrogi tallied in quick succession shortly thereafter, and the Vikings had extended the lead to eight.
Bauer and Moyer were able to find the net for the Auks before the quarter ended, but the Vikings took a 12-5 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Vikings kept up the pressure, scoring four of the first five goals to take their biggest lead of the night at 16-6 with just 3:05 left on the clock. The Auks didn’t quit, turning up the pressure in the final two minutes. Bauer fed Moyer at the 1:47 mark for one goal. It took just eight seconds for Zane Fracek to win the faceoff and feed Moyer for another one. Fracek won another faceoff, streaked down the middle and fired a shot past Travers, another goal that took just eight seconds. But that would be the end of the scoring, and of the Auks’ season.
Moyer wrapped up his high school career with a game-high five goals. The Auks received one goal each from Collins, Neill, Bauer and Fracek. Archmere finished the season with a 13-5 record.
For Cape, Best led the way with four goals. Heid and Boyce each had a hat trick. D’Ambrogi and Blake Gipko had two apiece, and Adem Tekmen and Dennis added one each. The Vikings improved to 16-2 and will meet the winner of the Salesianum-Caesar Rodney semifinal in the championship game on either Friday or Saturday.
The Sals and Riders were scheduled to play the second half of a doubleheader on Wednesday night, but that was pushed back to Thursday at 8 p.m. at Caravel because of the weather delay. Cape defeated both of those teams this season.