WILMINGTON — Sophia Shroyer scored just one goal on May 11 when Sussex Academy’s lacrosse team visited Serviam Field to meet Ursuline, but she made sure it was memorable. Shroyer snagged a rebound out of mid-air and in one motion fired a shot high into the net with 44.3 seconds left to give the Raiders an 11-10 win over the Seahawks.
The play started with a faceoff win after Sussex Academy had tied the game at 10 with 1:25 to go when Macy Steinwedel scored on an 8-meter opportunity. The Raiders worked some time off the clock before going to work. Lexi Goff found a cutting Isabella Koechert heading toward the net, and Koechert — who had already accounted for six of Ursuline’s goals — fired a shot low past Seahawks keeper Peyton Hagy. The ball clanged off the post to Hagy’s right and went right to Shroyer, and she did not miss.
The game was not over, however, as Sussex Academy had demonstrated an ability to strike quickly throughout the second half. The Seahawks took possession after the faceoff rolled out of bounds off an Ursuline player. They ran the length of the field, and with time running low, sent a pass to the right of Raiders keeper Amelia Cradler. But Shroyer was there on defense as well, intercepting the pass to preserve the victory.
It was a thrilling ending to a game matching the teams ranked eighth (Sussex Academy) and fifth (Ursuline) in the state by Delaware Live. The Seahawks took a lead just 90 seconds in when Madison Leeper connected on an 8-meter shot. But the Raiders rebounded, scoring the final three goals of the first half to take a 6-3 lead into the break.
Koechert and Lexi Goff scored all six first-half goals, with Koechert getting four of them. She tallied the final goal of the half with just 21.6 seconds to go on a free-position opportunity, immediately following a big save by Cradler on a Seahawks opportunity at the other end.
Vivian Wiggins kept Ursuline’s scoring streak going early in the second half as she snuck from behind the net on a free-position chance, took a pass from Ragan Odle and tucked it behind Hagy to make it 7-3.
Hagy kept the Raiders’ lead at four with two stellar saves, and it paid off for Sussex Academy. Back-to-back goals cut the lead in half, prompting a Raiders timeout with 16:03 to go.
Wiggins reprised her previous play to score again at the 11:48 mark, with Shroyer getting the assist this time. But the Seahawks didn’t give up, and they went to work offensively in the final eight minutes.
Sanne Elling scored on a second-chance 8-meter shot to make it 7-5. Cradler deflected a shot over the net on the Seahawks’ next possession, but Sussex Academy connected at 7:18. Steinwedel tied the game with 5:31 to go when her shot from behind the net bounced off Cradler and into the net. It took just 20 more seconds for the visitors to take the lead on a sharp-angle shot by Leeper.
The Raiders rebounded when Koechert cut toward the net, took a pass and scored high with 4:39 on the clock. Koechert did it again two minutes later after Goff spotted her all alone in front of the net. Koechert fired the ball in high while taking a stick to the chin. Ursuline had the 10-9 lead, setting up the amazing finish.
Goff and Wiggins each scored twice for the Raiders. Ursuline had a 34-19 shot advantage. Cradler had 11 saves. The Raiders (9-2) host Archmere on Thursday at 3:45 p.m.
For Sussex Academy, Steinwedel led the way with three goals. Elling and Leeper each scored a pair. Hagy had 13 saves. The Seahawks (11-3) complete their regular season Thursday night at 6 at home against Salisbury School (Md.).
All photos by Mike Lang.