Sussex Academy hockey scores first, Delmar roars in second half

Wildcats chase Seahawks out of state tournament 7-1
November 5, 2023

After 15 minutes of play Nov. 4, it appeared the avians were getting the best of the felines in Delmar.

No. 7 Sussex Academy led No. 2 Delmar 1-0 after one quarter in the second round of the state tournament. 

“It was incredible to start the tempo of the game on our side, and to have to make them adapt felt good. The girls were pumped,” said coach Leah Hunsinger.

Senior Callie Short, who will be playing at the University of Lynchburg next year, connected with Michigan State commit Rilyn Lehman during a penalty corner to give the Seahawks the lead.

The battle at midfield, led by Lehman, was intense throughout the game.

“I think Shelby Manlove controlled that right side – they had to keep people marking her because she’s such a powerhouse. Kacie Rawlings had incredible saves today – some were point-blank shots. Rilyn Lehman controlled our midfield – [she’s] always setting up the offense. And senior Callie Short played great in her last high school game,” Hunsinger said.

Jordyn Hollamon, a University of Maryland commit, wasted no time in getting Delmar on the board to start the second quarter. The equalizer was unassisted, and senior Emily Bitters found the junior All-American a couple of minutes later to give the Wildcats the lead. Hollamon nearly scored at the end of the first half, but the goal was called off because it did not leave the circle.

Just 16 seconds into the second half, Hollamon completed her hat trick when junior Laela Brown secured her first helper of the game. Hollamon returned the favor a few minutes later, making the score 4-1 before things settled in. The two teams battled back and forth for the next 10 minutes before it was Bitters finding Hollamon again to close out the third quarter.

Delmar gained a 5-1 advantage on the strength of 16 corners and 27 shots taken throughout the game. Rawlings had 17 saves, but Hollamon broke through once again in the fourth for her fifth goal off an assist from Brown. The duo hooked up again, this time with Brown scoring to give Delmar the 7-1 victory.

Despite the loss, Sussex Academy players felt they didn’t leave anything on the field and did the best they could with what they could control.

“We’re building. We are only losing one senior, so this is just the next steps toward next year,” Hunsinger said.

The players are already looking forward to it.

“I think we just build off of where we left off today. I think we can keep that going through the winter, through the summer and leading into next season,” Lehman said.

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