It’s almost a two-hour drive from Delmar to the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium, but the Delmar field hockey team would happily ride the bus to play every game here.
“I love it. It’s so awesome,” Wildcats star Booter Ellis said. “It’s a whole different ballgame out there, and it’s so much fun.”
No. 2-ranked Delmar had plenty of fun on Saturday afternoon, rolling past No. 3 Polytech 6-1 as part of the Turf Bowl.
The three-day series of games gives high school players from around the state the chance to play on Rullo’s speedy, Astro Turf 12 surface, and nobody relishes it more than the Wildcats, who play on grass at home. Ellis had three goals and an assist as Delmar improved to 14-1.
“Playing on this Astro Turf, it showed really how good of a player she is,” Delmar coach Jodi Hollamon said of Ellis. “She doesn’t get to show that – none of our players do. We have some really good Astro Turf players, so it was great to be here today. The whole team really had a great game.”
Ellis got the Wildcats buzzing just 2:52 into the game, weaving through three Polytech defenders to score the first goal.
“We haven’t been coming out strong in our first five minutes,” Ellis said. “It’s a good feeling, because normally we’re really frantic until we score our first goal. Once we score our first goal, then we get going, we get in a groove and we’re ready to have fun.”
More fun followed, as Savannah Neubert scored during a scrum in the ninth minute and Ellis banged in a rebound in the 16th minute. The Wildcats foiled all of the Panthers’ 10 penalty corners, and Delmar goalkeeper Tressie Windsor made six saves.
“We’re all talking in the cage,” Windsor said of the defense against corners. “I’m saying, ‘Booter, you’ve got to get there,’ and she tells me, ‘Tressie, you can’t let this in.’ It’s kind of our thing every time.”
Polytech cut the lead to 3-1 on Alyssa Jacobs’ goal in the 18th minute, but the Wildcats pulled away in the second half behind goals from Ellis, Shaina Thompson and Paige Twilley-Webster.
“They’re just a fantastic team full of seniors and experienced players,” Panthers coach Lynn Richardson said of Delmar. “I have a really young group. Most of my team is sophomores and juniors. … They’re young, they’re a positive group, they’re a tight-knit group. They’re not going to get discouraged.”