By Mike McClure

Last Saturday’s Henlopen Conference championship game between Delmar and Cape Henlopen lived up to expectations as the two teams battled into overtime before the Wildcats came out on top, 3-2, on a game-winning goal by Baylie Phillips in a game played at Lake Forest High School.

“It felt great. Both teams just had to put all their heart in playing in overtime,” said Phillips. “We look forward to this game every time.”

The Delmar field hockey team’s players and coaches pose for a photo after receiving the Henlopen Conference first place trophy during the post game ceremony. Photo by Mike McClure

“It never ceases to amaze me the competitiveness and the grit and the competition between the two teams,” Delmar head coach Jodi Hollamon added. “I told our players that other players need to rise to the occasion.”

Delmar struck first when Emma Price followed a shot by Jordyn Hollamon for a goal with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Cape Henlopen held a 2-1 edge in corners in the opening quarter.

The Wildcats’ Josie Hollamon had a shot turned back by Vikings goalkeeper Morgan Newcomb before Cape Henlopen put together three straight corners and had one shot bounce off the cross bar. Delmar came back with three corners with Phillips following a shot by Maci Bradford on the third corner to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead (3:57). Delmar outshot Cape Henlopen, 10-4, while the Vikings held a 7-5 edge in corners in the first half.

Cape Henlopen’s Hannah Maney cut the lead in half with a goal with 7:25 left in the third quarter. Delmar ended the quarter with four more corners and Bradford had a shot go wide left.

In the fourth quarter, the Vikings’ Alexa Nowakowski scored a goal with 12:21 remaining in the contest to knot the score at 2-2. Newcomb later made a diving save on a shot by Bradford and stopped a shot by Josie Hollamon with 4:39 left. 

The game remained tied through regulation and went into a seven-on-seven overtime. Price passed the ball to Jordyn Hollamon who found Maci Bradford who collided with Newcomb, resulting in a penalty stroke. Newcomb turned back the shot by Josie Hollamon with 10:15 left in overtime.

Delmar had two more corners before Bradford dribbled around a pair of defenders and sent the ball toward the cage where it was knocked in by Phillips (6:39) for the win.

 “I just knew I had to beat two people and the goalie and put it in the cage,” said Bradford. “It (seven on seven) was very tiring but we had to go in knowing we could push through and finish strong.”

 “It’s very tiring. It’s all mental. As soon as you think that you’re getting tired it’s all downhill from there,” Phillips added.

“You have to watch and see who’s losing legs,” said coach Hollamon.

Delmar outshot Cape Henlopen, 15-8, and held a 16-9 advantage in penalty corners. Newcomb made 10 saves while Delmar goalie Summer Payne made five stops.