WILMINGTON – It took a month for the Salesianum lacrosse team to play its first home game of the season. And it took the Sals a few minutes to get cranked up Friday night.
Delaware’s top-ranked team withstood a hot start from No. 3 Cape Henlopen, gradually turned the momentum and really let it fly in the second half on the way to a 17-3 victory.
“They kind of controlled the tempo,” said Sallies sophomore Brett Hobbs, who finished with three goals and three assists. “But I think we picked it up, kind of in the second quarter, but really at the start of the second half.”
The Sals (8-1) return to Baynard at 1 p.m. Saturday for huge test against Hill Academy (8-0) of Concord, Ontario, Canada, which downed Sallies 11-5 last season. Sals coach Bob Healy didn’t think his team was looking ahead, but Cape certainly had the home team on its heels early.
Erik-Stephane Stancofski converted Hank Coveleski’s pass to give the Vikings (6-3) a 1-0 lead just 42 seconds into the game. Then Cape won the next faceoff and slowed it down to try to shorten the game.
Salesianum didn’t get the ball across midfield until 6:02 remained in the first quarter. Hobbs scored on a left-handed shot 34 seconds later, and Patrick Drake seized on a turnover and scored to put the Sals up 2-1 with 2:04 left in the opening period.
“I had an early turnover, and I just wanted to make up and get it back,” Drake said. “Our team needed a goal.”
Sallies never trailed again, despite a big performance from Cape goalkeeper Brendan Kane (nine saves). The junior made two stops and two Salesianum shots hit the post as Cape survived being two men down early in the second quarter.
“It’s frustrating as an offensive player, especially with how many weapons we have in our offense,” Drake said. “… The goalie made a couple of early saves that frustrated us, but we were relentless and we came at it and made the next play.”
Chad Cannon, Garrett Cannon and Drake each scored late in the first half as the Sals pushed out to a 5-1 lead.
Then Sallies started raining them in from everywhere in the third quarter. The Vikings were hit with a three-minute, non-releasable penalty, and the Sals scored seven straight. Hobbs struck twice, Michael Drake scored twice and Taylor Witherell, Garrett Cannon and Patrick Drake each found the net once to make it 12-1.
“It feels great to put a team away like that,” Patrick Drake said. “It’s something that I think our team does pretty well.”
The Sals pumped in three more in a 2:11 span to finish the third quarter with a 15-2 lead.
“We shot the ball really well in the second half, and I think that was the difference,” Healy said. “We didn’t shoot it well in the first half.”
Michael Drake finished with four goals, Patrick Drake added three goals and two assists and Garrett Cannon and Liam Mackenzie each scored twice for Salesianum.
Contact Brad Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ.