The 2017 DIAA Girls Lacrosse State Tournament is slated to begin this afternoon with the opening round of the 10 team bracket.
One of the eight teams already guaranteed a spot are the eight-time defending state champion Cape Henlopen Lady Vikings. After a 13-2 season, the Lady Vikings won’t be playing in the opening round as they’ll most certainly be one of six teams to receive a first round bye - a great start under first year head coach Lindsey Eichner.
“[This first season] has been everything I expected,” Eichner said. “The girls are great and working really hard for the coaching staff - the team is supporting each other both on and off the field, the morale is high and the team is ready to play.”
Without knowing who they’ll be facing off with in the Quarterfinals on Saturday, let’s take a look back at another standout season for Cape.
Entering the week, Cape was tied with St. Mark’s for the second best mark in the state behind only Archmere Academy who stood at 12-1 with two games remaining on their regular season schedule.
While the Lady Vikings didn’t play either St. Mark’s or Archmere this season, they did increase their win streak against in-state teams another year, going 9-0 against Delaware schools.
They were 4-2 in their remaining six games, including their only losses coming to Maryland schools St. Mary’s and Queen Anne’s County.
Throughout the season, Cape put one of the state’s best offensive units on the field finishing third in goals-for with 224, behind only Caravel Academy (230) and St. Mark’s (264).
Eight different players finished the regular season with double-digit goals this season for Cape Henlopen, including Mallory Jones, Victoria Lockwood, Alia Marshall, Kaitlyn Klabe, Lindsay Monigle, Chloe Schaeffer, Evelyn Shoop and Cailey Thornburg who also tallied her 100th career goal during the season.
Monigle and Schaeffer both finished with more than 20 goals this season, while Shoop and Thornburg surpassed the 30 goal mark.
Defensively, the Lady Vikings were the best in the state allowing just 60 goals on the year, 22 goals less than the second best mark in the state, St. Mark’s 82 goals allowed.
A group featuring Leah Barry, Mary Cannon, Sarah Hyde, Annie Judge and Sarah Rambo, played solidly in front of the goalie tandem of sophomore Vienna Iacona and starting senior Iseabal Cryne.
Cryne faced over 100 shots this season, coming away with a save percentage of over .570.
Along with St. Mark’s and Archmere, a handful of teams, Wilmington Charter, Ursuline Academy, Caravel Academy, Dover, Polytech, Smyrna and Appoquinimink are also in the playoff hunt and could cross paths with the Lady Vikings down the line.
Cape will have significant downtime between games when they finally open up their postseason, but they plan to keep things simple from now until their playoff opener.
“I think the most important thing is to keep the routine that the team has had all season,” Eichner said. “This isn’t the time to change or add anything. We’re just going to continue perfecting what we are doing and push each other every day at practice to help keep our sticks sharp and our fitness level high.”
Whomever the Lady Vikings matchup against these playoffs, they’re not only ready for the challenge, but realize that the program’s legacy can continue if they keep winning.
“The girls are ready for our ‘second season’ to begin,” said Eichner. “We’re just waiting to see where we will fall in the rankings and learn when and who we will play - I think right now, the girls are relaxed and trying to stay loose and not get too anxious.”
“When the girls are loose, they play their best lacrosse - so, as a staff we’re going to work to keep them excited to play.”