BEAR - A year ago, Cape Henlopen High shocked Salesianum in the boys’ lacrosse state championship game.
The Sals weren’t about to let lightning strike twice.
This time top-seeded Sallies netted the first seven goals and never looked back, upending second-seeded Cape, 16-5, in the DIAA boys’ lacrosse state finals on Saturday night at Caravel.
It was the Sals’ sixth state crown in the sport and fifth since 2007, when Dover teacher Bob Healy took over the program. Sallies has finished first or second in the state each season in that span.
The Sals were the top seed last May, too, only to have the Vikings knock them off 9-7 in the finals.
“It’s two totally different teams,” Healy said about the rematch. “We were very young last year, they were old - they had a bunch of seniors. This year we were more experienced and it showed tonight.
“Winning this is really a life-changing experience. It’s an amazing feeling. For these kids, it’s something they can never take away from them.”
Senior A.J. Witherell scored six goals while teammate Michael Drake, a sophomore, had five goals and four assists to lead Sallies, which led 9-2 at halftime.
Sallies (16-3) finished with a 34-24 edge in shots. The Sals’ only losses this season came against out-of-state competition.
Vikings coach Jack Lingo just wishes his team had played better early in the game. The Sals were already ahead 4-0 when Cape (14-6) had to call timeout with 9:08 still left in the first quarter.
“They outplayed us today,” said Lingo. “They jumped on us early and we were never able to recover. The first five minutes of the game were the difference, they set the tone.
“After that we were doing everything we could just to get back in the game. You take some chances here and there, some work out, some don’t.”
Freshman Erik-Stephane Stancofski had two goals and an assist for Cape with Alexander Marshall, Sean Lally and Jake Brown also scoring goals. Goalie Chris Argo made a pair of saves.
The Vikings were able to get back in the game in the second half to make things more competitive. It was just too little, too late.
“They played hard, they fought to the end,” Lingo said about his players. “I’m proud of them. They didn’t give up. They’ve had a great season.
“They have nothing to be ashamed of. I think they exceeded a lot of people’s expectations this year.”
Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.