Tatnall beats Cape 10-9 for girls’ lax title

Vikings go cold in quest for 14th consecutive state championship
May 26, 2023

The Cape Henlopen girls’ lacrosse team lost in the state championship for the first time in 14 years, falling to Tatnall 10-9 May 25 at Delaware State University. 

Fans with Fatheads in the no signs land of the home stands were rocking as they were watching a focused battle of two lacrosse juggernauts colliding on the pitch in the state title game for the third year in a row.  

Cape jumped out 3-0 in the first five minutes, but five minutes later the game was tied at 3-3. 

Cape surged again, leading 7-3 with 3:55 left in the first half. Then the Vikings scored only two goals over the last 29 minutes of play. The Hornets scored seven in that same time for the final score of 10-9.

“It was a tough game,” said Cape coach Lindsey Underwood. “But these are the types of games that should be in a state championship. Two teams battling it out to a one-goal game. They fought hard until the end.”

Claire Lopez and Lulu Rishko combined for 12 goals in a semifinal 20-5 win over Sussex Academy, but against Tatnall, they only combined for one goal. 

Cape and Tatnall will each graduate six seniors. 

Tatnall goal scorers were Kali Clayton with five, Lydia Colasante with four and Avery Brumfield with one. 

Devon Chipman was credited with five saves. 

Cape goals were scored by Lexi Nowakowski with four, Carrie Clausius with three and Macy Steinwedel and Lulu Rishko each with one.

Anna Lopez was credited with 11 saves.

The last time the Vikings had lost a game to a Delaware opponent was May 2, 2009, a 13-12 defeat by St. Andrew’s. Since that game, Cape had won 176 straight games against First State schools, including 13 straight state titles and 42 consecutive state tournament games. The 2020 spring season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Postscript - Tatnall coach Ruth Hiller said: “I really appreciate you asking about our D. As you know, the scorers generally grab the headlines first, but our D has been so strong all season, holding our opponents to an average of 5.7 goals a game! Kate McConnel, Kate O'Neal, Paige Hiller and Tessa Colasante. And Devon Chipman, our goalie, is outstanding (56% save average heading into the championship game. Balancing our strong D with our high-powered attack – usually averages eight different scorers per game – has made us a state championship team.

“Our girls are fast, have endurance for days, and usually play very up tempo. We prepped for last night with a very specific game plan for Cape ... with our face guard of Lopez and tight marking of Rishko, holding them to one goal. We also wanted to be very controlled and deliberate with our possessions. That paid off for us. We had trouble landing our shots initially, either missing the cage or Lopez making solid saves, but we stayed shooting and worked through it.

“As she usually does, Kali Clayton stepped up when Lydia was tightly marked by Rishko and got our scoring going. Kali is going to play next year at Hofstra and Lydia will play at Boston College. Lydia was able to make a statement at both ends, O and D, and was a strong leader for us on the field. Really proud of the rest of our attack for adding to our ability to move and work the ball, setting us up to score and stay in the game. Cape applied heavy, physical pressure, but we were able to keep our focus and answer back. After we scored our go-ahead goal, we were able to kick into our two-minute drill that we practice often just for situations like that.”

In a group email to players the day after the game, Underwood said, “I want to start by saying how proud I am of this team. While we may not have ended on the note we wanted, we still had an amazing season. We beat some amazing competition in Maryland and New Jersey, and played the toughest schedule ever. One game does not define you. The pressure that you feel simply for wearing Cape across your chest is something that no one, no one can understand. You have carried that pressure well and stood tall. You are an amazing group of individuals who came together to make an amazing team. I am proud to call you my athletes!’ 


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