Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/28/21 – Staff Report
Salesianum School senior faceoff specialist Matt Riley said it was hard to forget the feeling of losing to Cape Henlopen, 12-10, in the 2019 Delaware state final – even 2 years later.
So, after leading his Sals to a 12-10 win over Cape Thursday at Dover High for the 2021 title, it was easy to savor a crown two years in the making due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is quite honestly the best feeling in the world, knowing after two years of relentless work we were able to reclaim the title,” said Riley, who won 18 of 26 faceoffs and scored once.
That relentless work paid off Thursday after fifth-seeded Cape Henlopen (13-5) rallied from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game twice, 7-7 and 8-8. But Riley put the Sals (14-3) ahead for good, 9-8, early in the fourth period and continued to dominate at the X. Colby Bushweller soon made it 10-8 before Dylan Mooney scored two straight for a 12-8 pad.
“What really turned the game around was the energy from the sideline and crowd after a couple of quick goals,” said Riley. “We knew every possession was going to be important. As for at the faceoff X, I tried to take each faceoff one at a time and focus on my game.”
Sallies had many other stars Thursday night.
Caelen Driggs led the attack with four goals and an assist and Rowan Nurry and McGovern each added two goals. Goalie Wyatt Skinner had 11 of his 12 saves in the second half and Jack Gormley led the defense.
Salesianum held a 7-4 halftime lead, but Mikey Frederick, Blake Gipko and Hank D’Ambrogi (two goals) scored in the third quarter to tie it, 7-7.
Delaware State Championship
Salesianum School 12, Cape Henlopen 10
Sallies 3-4-0-5- 12
Cape 1-3-3-3- 10
Griffin McGovern 2g
Rowan Nurry 2g
Connor Lucey 1a
Caelen Driggs 4g, 1a
Ryan Cunningham 1a
Charlie Ruoss 1a
Matt Riley 18/26 FO, 1g
Colby Bushweller 1g
Kaleb Russell 1a
Dylan Mooney 2g
Wyatt Skinner 12 saves
William Bragg 1g
Jaden Davis 3g, 1a
Mikey Frederick 1g, 1a
Blake Gopko 1g
Gabe Best 1g, 3a
Hank D’Ambrogi 2g
Luke Burton 1a
Jacob Schell 1g
Michael Sposato 7 saves
Carson Kammerer 1 save
Recent Delaware state champions
2021 – Salesianum School 12, Cape Henlopen 10
2020 – No season due to COVID-19 pandemic
2019 – Cape Henlopen 12, Salesianum School 10
2018 – Salesianum School 14, Caesar Rodney 9
2017 – Salesianum School 13, Cape Henlopen 5
2016 – Salesianum School 16, Appoquinimink 7
2015 – Salesianum School 16, Cape Henlopen 5
2014 – Cape Henlopen 9, Salesianum School 7
2013 – Salesianum School 18, Caesar Rodney 4
2012 – Salesianum School 13, Caesar Rodney 2
2011 – Salesianum School 7, Tower Hill 5
2010 – Tower Hill 5, Salesianum School 4, 2 OT
2009 – Salesianum School 13, Tower Hill 4
2008 – Cape Henlopen 8, Salesianum School 7
2007 – Salesianum School 12, Wilmington Friends 5