This matchup had been much anticipated as these two teams are no strangers to each other or the DIAA tournament. The regular season matchup went to Smyrna 2-1 at Cape’s Champions Stadium, appropriately named as they have ten State Championships going into today. Smyrna and Cape have met in the finals the past two seasons, splitting titles (Cape in 2021, Smyrna in 2022). Both teams enter with strong offensive fronts, speed in the midfield and great goalkeepers.
The Vikings from Cape Henlopen wasted no time settling in and dominating offensive possession in the first quarter. Cape scored first, about five minutes in, as Grace Wiggins scored on an insert by Devon DeGregory on a penalty corner. Cape would take two more shots but couldn’t convert. Smyrna would take some time to settle in and get any transitions on offense. They did have two penalty corners but couldn’t get shots off.
The second quarter started with Smyrna’s quick corner at 14:27 and again, Cape fended off the attack. Aleisa Clarke had the only true run for Smyrna but her attempt hit the side of the cage. Cape would then take over again and play most of the quarter in Smyrna territory. Cape created three penalty corners and the aggressive style of play between these two teams got the best of a few players. At 6:43 Smyna’s Bree Moffett was given a green card and sat out two minutes and 54 seconds left Cape’s Hannah Maney was green carded for a foul, not giving 5 yards on the free hit. The game would go to half time Cape 1, Smyrna 0.
Coming out of the half, Smyrna would make some adjustments and clean up their defensive play allowing no penalty corners, no shots on goal, and no goals for the Vikings. Cape’s goalkeeper, senior Morgan Newcomb, would have seven saves on seven shots from the Eagles. The Eagles created a corner at the 11:07 mark, Bree Moffett to Dru Moffett who quickly passed back to Bree whose shot entered the goal high (about chest high to Cape’ goalkeeper Newcomb). While the Eagles and their fans celebrated what they thought was the tying goal, the officials stopped play and met near midfield.
The officials met with Cape’s speaking captain Grace Wiggins and Smyrna’s goalkeeper Halle Geiger to discuss the call and the goal was waved off. Score remained Cape 1, Smyrna 0. Wiggins and Moffett battled all day in the midfield and Wiggins would receive a green card for a foul (8:00) and would sit for two minutes.
Entering the fourth quarter Cape would have to wonder if one goal would be enough to upset the number one seed and defending state champs. This quarter would see a lot of play in the midfield, no particular team dominating. Frustrations ran high as Smyrna felt the pressure to score and keep the opportunity of a title in their sights and Cape was trying to hang on to win with just one goal. Ava Pierce was green carded and sat for two minutes early in the quarter. Smyrna would lose Bree Moffett for a card for tackling from behind on Grace Wiggins at the 6:03 point.
Penalty corners for Cape came at the 3:50 and 3:15 marks and they took four shots on goal. Smyrna’s Geiger would save 3 and Pierce would have a defensive save. Coach Loveita Moffett of Smyrna called a timeout with 1:28 left on the clock and her team garnered a penalty corner with 1:03 left in the game. Their last opportunity came and went as time ran out.
Cape Henlopen’s lone goal in the first five minutes of the game would stand up. This is Cape Henlopen’s 11th DIAA Division 1 State Championship.
Cape’s goal was scored/assisted by:
Wiggins (DeGregory) 10:00
Congratulations to all the teams earning bids into this season’s DIAA State Tournament, and congratulations to ALL teams for a fantastic season of field hockey. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all the coaches and players who offered information, insight, and interviews throughout the season. Best of luck to the graduating seniors who will move on to play collegiate field hockey. You are all credited with putting a spotlight on Delaware high school field hockey and are good stewards of promoting females in sport. Thank you for being a part of the first season of “The Corner Scoop”.
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