Entering this week’s standings, the Polytech field hockey team is a game behind Henlopen North Division leader Cape Henlopen.

With four games remaining, two against Henlopen Conference teams, the Lady Panthers only have a few opportunities left to improve their ranking ahead of this year’s tournament.

Having won nine of their first 11 games, Polytech has put themselves in a good position for the postseason. Longtime head coach Lynn Richardson has presided over many talented teams while at Polytech, but even she is impressed this year.

“This year’s team chemistry and work ethic has been one of the best I’ve seen in my coaching career,” Richardson said. “All the kids are willing to work hard and support each other, on and off the field.”

The work the team has put in on the practice field has paid off, and it shows in the numbers. Through 11 games, Polytech has spread the scoring around, finding the back of the cage 39 times and scoring six goals or more in three games.

Defensively, they’ve been just as tough, allowing just six goals against on the season. They posted six shutouts: against Sussex Tech, Woodbridge, Laurel, Sussex Central, Caesar Rodney and Lake Forest.

After winning their first seven games, outscoring their opponents 30-3, the Lady Panthers dropped two games in a row, an overtime loss to upstart Smyrna and a 1-0 loss to defending Division I champion Cape Henlopen. Losses like that may derail the season for some teams, but Polytech responded quickly with shutout wins over Caesar Rodney and Lake Forest to get back on track.

Over their final four contests, Polytech will be tested again, taking on Caravel Academy and
Delmar.

“Both Caravel and Delmar are undefeated and the top teams in Division II,” Richardson said. “We’re hoping to match their intensity and play hard for 60 minutes. It will be a great test for us going into the state tournament.”

The Lady Panthers play against Caravel, Seaford and Delmar this week, before closing out their season next Tuesday at home against St. Georges Tech, when Polytech will also honor this year’s seniors.

This year’s DIAA Division I Field Hockey tournament is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 6.