Smyrna field hockey

Smyrna Eagles stun Delmar 3-2, ending Wildcats’ 120-win game streak

Shannon TimmonsHeadlines, Sports

Smyrna field hockey

Smyrna’s field hockey team celebrates Tuesday after beating Delmar and ending their long win streak.

The Smyrna Eagles stunned the Delmar Wildcats 3-2 at home Tuesday in less than ideal weather conditions.

A cloudy, cool day with a light mist continued throughout the game nsaw the end of Delmar’s impressive 120-game win streak.

The last time the Wildcats lost was Oct. 22, 2016 to Cape Henlopen 1-0. 

Smyrna remains undefeated this year.

The Eagles and Wildcats both have been ranked No. 1 in the Delaware Live-302 Sports top 10 since the pre-season. The two likely will meet again for the Henlopen Conference Championship as Delmar  occupies the top of the Southern Division and Smyrna tops the North. 

Delmar pressure was immediate with their first corner coming at 13:48. Ball was inserted to Jordyn Hollamon but the shot was blocked by GK Halle Geiger, the first of many.

Brooke Morris and Regan Wells for Delmar and Dru Moffett from Smyrna had great defensive stops and turnover for their teams.

Both teams had a lot of player communication and directions from coaches to make adjustments on the fly. Smyrna went a little unconventional with their approach to work the ball up the left side of the field, which played into Delmar’s strong side defense.

Delmar’s Brown made it to the circle again, only to be stopped by Dru Moffett. With 4:23 left another shot was blocked by Smyrna and Jordyn Holloman sent an aerial pass no one could catch up to.

Dru Moffett drove from just outside the circle and no one could get a stick on it, wide of the goal. Delmar’s Laela Brown tried to drive the ball in but Bree Moffett shut her down.

With 1:40 to go, Smyrna earned a penalty corner from Dru Moffett.  Ava Pierce inserted to D. Moffett but she had no shot. Blocking in the open field at this point was getting away from Delmar, giving Smyrna a slight advantage.

With just 2 seconds left on the clock, Smyrna’s Alesia Clarke took a shot that was blocked by Delmar’s GK.

The second quarter was quickly started by Delmar with a corner. Holloman inserted Baylie Phillips whose shot got lifted up into the defender off her stick resulting in another corner. Delmar’s Holloman inserted to Philips whose shot was blocked.

Smyrna’s offense would dominate the rest of the quarter. Delmar’s typical passing style was just out of sync. Delmar Coach Jodi Hollamon could be heard from the sideline telling her players to make better passes and “put the ball on a stick..

With 3:25 left until half time, Smyrna headed to the goal. Ava Pierce shot and No. 6 Alexis Mancuso tipped it in for Smyrna to score first and go up 1-0 at the half. 

The third quarter showed both teams maintaining their stamina and toughness. Delmar had a shot roll into the cage but as hockey fans know, the goal only counts if someone inside the circle makes contact with the pass from outside the circle.

Smyrna had three consecutive corners. The third was tipped in by McKenna Wilson, giving Smyrna the 2-0 lead. Delmar then earned four consecutive corners but couldn’t capitalize on them. 

With 15 minutes let, Delmar frantically tried to use time to their advantage. It took Smyrna less than 2 minutes to create a penalty corner in which Dru Moffett scored, increasing the lead to 3-0.

The last time a team scored three goals on Delmar was in the State Championship game Nov. 16, 2019 when Indian River put three up against the Wildcats.

Delmar responded with a flurry of goal attempts, and Jordyn Holloman put Delmar on the board with a corner and added another point with a corner penalty shot.

Smyrna react

Smyrna Coach Loveita Moffett told her team after the game that she was proud of them.

“It was a total team effort,” she said. “They created pressure and they handled pressure. For the rest of their lives they can say they were a part of history.”

Asked how Smyrna adjusted at half time, Moffett said the coaching staff just reaffirmed their game plan and asked the players what they were seeing on the field.

“They had a plan to shut down Jordyn Holloman because she’s an amazing player and the Delmar program breeds college players,” Moffeet said.

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While her daughters, Dru and Bree, play on the team, she feels she’s a mom to all the players and that the crossover between coach and mom happens naturally.

“This team is a sisterhood,” the coach said.

Smyrna Goalkeeper Halle was all smiles after the game. She was under fire much of the day and did her job.

Halle said there was really no difference in her preparation for the game but she knew she would be challenged.

“They have strong shots and some of my teammates play with them so I feel I know them better and what to expect – power and accuracy,” she said.

On the corners she just wanted to make sure she could see the ball, and the defense adjusted so she could react on the spot.

Halle expects to see Delmar again and she’s excited about it.

“There aren’t many teams as good as Delmar to challenge us to be better,” she said.

Smyrna remains undefeated at 5-0 and will go to Sussex Central on Thursday, Sept. 28. Delmar (5-1) will regroup to face Lake Forest at Lake on Thursday, Sept. 28.

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