The Sussex Tech Ravens weren’t able to match their 9-6 mark from last season finishing the 2013 campaign at 6-9. However, their strength of schedule and wins against Maryland schools Salisbury School and North Caroline and a victory over Indian River were good enough to earn them a berth in the state tournament.
Along with their big victories mentioned above, the Ravens also played some of the toughest competition within the state and conference very tough.
The Ravens suffered close losses to Dover, Delmar and Appoquinimink. All three teams earned berths in the state tournament.
Oddly enough, the Ravens will take on a very familiar opponent in the first round, the Polytech Panthers. The Panthers, a powerhouse within the Henlopen South Division, defeated the Panthers 8-5 just a week ago to wrap up both squads regular season schedules.
The Panthers finished the regular season with a record of 12-3 and will provide a very stiff test for the Ravens. Though, there may be some benefits to taking on Polytech so recently. While the Ravens did fall by 3 to the Panthers, they played them extremely tough in the first half of play. It took a 5-goal 3rd stanza from Polytech to pull away from the Ravens.
If the Ravens are to put up a fight against a strong Panthers squad they’ll have to improve on both ends of the field. Sussex Tech’s 8.3 Goals-Per-Game may not be enough to get it done on Wednesday as Polytech has given up 8 or more goals only 4 times this season. Also, Tech’s 10.2 Goals-Against-Per-Game is easily among the highest of the tournament bound teams. Polytech scored 10 or more goals 9 times this season, winning all 9 contests.
It may seem as if the deck is stacked up against the Sussex Tech Ravens come Wednesday night. However, the youth on the squad is often overlooked. The Ravens boast only 3 seniors on this year’s club, Defensemen Drew and Stephen Fox and Jeff Klabe on Attack. The rest of the squad is made up of underclassmen. Underclassmen that have learned on the fly this season and now find an opportunity to upset one of the state’s top teams in front of them.
It wasn’t a perfect regular season for the Ravens, but the second season begins on Wednesday. If the Ravens show up with their A-game on Wednesday night, and perhaps get a couple of breaks, defeating Polytech is definitely possible.