This week, the Division I and Division II DIAA Field Hockey tournaments begin, with both Polytech and Lake Forest getting in on the action.
After finishing with a 12-3 overall record, Polytech is the No. 4 seed, earning a home playoff game to start the quarterfinals Thursday against No. 5 Sussex Tech.
The Lady Panthers finished strong, winning five of their last six games. They enter the postseason with an impressive goal differential of plus-46, having scored more than 50 goals on the season while allowing seven goals against.
“This year’s team chemistry and work ethic has been outstanding,” said Polytech head coach Lynn Richardson. “We’re going to continue to work on all aspects of the game and hopefully peak at the right time.”
Polytech’s opponent Thursday, Sussex Tech, won six of their final seven games. Led by an impressive offense including Jade Powell, Julia Hollenbeck, Madison Short and Regan Sammons that nearly topped 60 goals, the Lady Ravens offer a challenge.
“The team is very excited, motivated and a complete unit,” said Sussex Tech head coach MiaPiscarik. “They’ve worked so hard, the energy is positive and we hope to continue that.
”Two Tech losses this year came versus Cape Henlopen and Delmar, the defending Division I and Division II champions.
The third was a 3-0 Polytech shutout when the Lady Panthers spoiled Sussex Tech’s season opener. Mairead McKibbin, Lacy Bayley and Cecilia Rivera scored for Polytech, while Holly Rembold turned aside 10 Sussex Tech shots to post the clean-sheet.
The winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup will take on the winner of No. 1 Cape Henlopen (14-1) and No. 8 Smyrna (9-5-1) Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium.
Along with defending champion Cape Henlopen taking on Smyrna, the rest of the DI opening round field includes No. 2 Padua Academy (14-1) hosting No. 7 Middletown (10-4-1) at Caravel Academy and No. 6 Concord (11-4) traveling to No. 3 Charter School of Wilmington (11-4).
Lake Forest awaits second round opponent
The Lady Spartans closed out an impressive 2018 regular season campaign, finishing 11-3-1 and earning the No. 4 seed in the Division II DIAA Field Hockey tournament and a first round bye.
At the beginning of the season, Lake Forest was hopeful they could build off last year’s success.
“We made it to the state tournament last season and we’re excited to see if we are going to be able to stay with that momentum and go further,” said Lake Forest head coach Michele Tucker.
Led by a deep and talented group including Grace Aguilar, Maycee Collison, Jessica Tyndall, Kaley Aldrich, Cassie Dempsey and Bailey Dean, Lake Forest scored the fourth-most goals in all of Division II, with only Caravel, Mt. Pleasant and Delmar scoring more.
While the Lady Spartans allowed 17 goals against this year, nearly half of that total cameagainst defending DI and DII champions Cape Henlopen and Delmar. In their remaining 13 games, Lake allowed less than a goal per-game to their opponents, including six shutout victories.
Lake Forest also ended the season playing some of their best hockey, winning four games in a row, including victories over the No. 8 seed in the DII state tournament, Red Lion, along with a huge win over Smyrna, the No. 8 seed in the DI state tournament.
On Saturday, Lake will host the winner of Wednesday's No. 5 Ursuline Academy and No. 12 Newark Charter at 1 p.m.