For The Dialog
BEAR — A standing-room crowd at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy witnesses a tightly contested state championship boys lacrosse game Saturday night, and in the end, second-ranked Cape Henlopen had pulled off perhaps the season’s biggest upset, defeating No. 1 Salesianum, 9-7.
The loss ended Salesianum’s 46-game in-state winning streak and was the first defeat to a Delaware school since the 2010 state championship against Tower Hill.
Cape’s Blake Mann scored five goals, including both of the Vikings’ fourth-quarter tallies. Goalie Grant Gillian had 12 saves, three of the biggest coming in the last three minutes as the Sals turned up the pressure.
Salesianum had defeated Cape, 14-7, during the regular season, with the Sals jumping out to an early 4-0 lead. The Vikings knew they had to stay with the Sals early, and senior Todd Kean gave his team a 1-0 lead in the first quarter. Salesianum rebounded for a 3-2 lead, but Mann tied it with his first goal with just 25 seconds left in the opening period.
Luke Bianchino scored early in the second quarter to reclaim the lead for Salesianum, but that would be the team’s only goal in the second. Mann scored again, and another late goal, this one by Michael Hopkins with 19 seconds remaining before the half, made it 5-4 Cape.
Salesianum senior Jason Kelly tied the game after the intermission, and the teams traded the next four goals to head into the final quarter tied at 7.
The Sals finished the season 16-2, and this year’s senior class has three state championships. For the 17-3 Vikings, their 17 seniors are none too happy to finally take home the trophy.