The Sussex Tech Ravens have just five regular season games remaining as they look to improve their positioning for a post-season berth. Over that stretch of five games, the Ravens will play their final two divisional games beginning tonight on the road against the Dover Senators.
At the start of the season the Henlopen Conference was once again expected to be one of the toughest in the entire state. And, with just two weeks remaining in the regular season Henlopen North Division squads occupy three of the four best records within Division I.
At 6-2-2 on the year, Sussex Tech sits in fourth place in the division looking up at those three teams, Caesar Rodney (9-2), Polytech (12-1), and division leader Cape Henlopen (12-1).
While a division title may not be in the cards this season for Tech, a strong finish to the year will no-doubt help land them back in the post season for another season. With every game down the stretch now an important one, the journey back to the post season really begins with tonight’s divisional matchup against the Senators.
After struggling to start the year, losing three of their first four games, the Senators have played better as of late winning three of their last five contests in hopes of salvaging their season.
One of the Senators’ biggest issues this season has been their failure to keep opponents off the scoreboard. On the year they’re allowing more than three goals a game on average; only Smyrna and A.I. duPont have allowed more at the Division I level.
This should be an advantage for the Ravens who boast a solid group of scorers this season. Senior Marlon Trejo leads the team in goals with seven, while senior Carter Burris and sophomores Josh Artiga and Michael Barr all have five goals on the year.
Sussex Tech Head Coach Carlos Villa acknowledged that the team has several players who have shown the ability to find the back of the net, though he’s hoping one or more of them will take charge down the stretch to be the kind of elite strikers that they’ll need to make a playoff push.
“We do have more options in the attack this year, but having a player that is consistently a threat to score is in my opinion, a better option,” said Sussex Tech Head Coach Carlos Villa. “I believe we have a couple of players that have the potential to take on that responsibility.”
While they trail in the division, the Ravens do have a positive record against the division’s top squads and a winning record overall at 2-1-1. Tech defeated both Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney earlier this year, and could improve their playoff chances even more with another division victory tonight against Dover (4-5-1, 1-2).
“Our remaining five matches are very important as we prepare for a possible bid in into the state tournament,” Villa said. “Dover is always a challenge – we need to be prepared for a physical high pressure match.”