On Saturday night, two of the top boys lacrosse squads in the Henlopen Conference, Caesar Rodney and Polytech, battled for the right to move onto the DIAA Semifinals.
After meeting just a few weeks ago, a 12-8 Caesar Rodney win, both teams entered Saturday’s Quarterfinals matchup knowing what to expect. And while neither team disappointed on Saturday, it was the Riders who were able to come through when it mattered, winning 9-7 to advance to the Semifinals.
The teams played under dark and dreary skies, and in off and on rain, a scene fit for a battle between the Riders and Panthers. The action was back-and-forth from the beginning of the contest and didn’t let up until the final horn.
The Riders played frontrunner for the majority of the game, but Polytech would not allow CR to pull away seemingly answering every Rider goal the entire night. However, with just minutes left in the contest Eric Schaeffer of Caesar Rodney scored to give the Riders a 9-7 lead they would not relinquish.
Sophomore Thomas Aloe led the way for the Riders netting 4 goals in the Quarterfinal victory. Sean MacLeish scored 2 for the Riders, while Austin Hayward, David Schmidt and Schaefer each netted a goal apiece.
Goaltender John Michael Smith made 15 saves standing tall between the pipes for the Riders.
Seven different Panthers found the net for Polytech and Thomas Bailey made 10 saves in the loss.
The Riders now move onto face #2 Cape Henlopen in the DIAA State Semifinals for the right to play for the state championships.