CLAYMONT – Archmere fell behind early against Sanford when the teams met in a men’s lacrosse showdown on May 7, but apparently all the Auks needed was a break between the first and second quarters to clear things up. They scored four goals in the final 4:45 of the first half en route to an entertaining 13-6 win.
The win qualified as a slight upset based on Delaware Live’s state rankings. The Auks came in fourth, one behind the Warriors. Both teams delivered.
The afternoon featured plenty of big hits and the resulting ground balls, as well as goaltenders making unlikely saves. Add to that regular rain and gusty winds to make this a memorable outing.
Sanford freshman Cameron Taylor kept the game scoreless early on with a pair of saves, and his teammates took advantage. With 7:14 to go in the first, fellow freshman Luca Pompeii pulled the ball out from behind the net and fired a shot from the left from a sharp angle past Auks keeper Conor France.
The Auks won a ground ball after the face-off, and Conor Udovich fired an unmarked pass to Dan Kupiec in front of the net. Kupiec deked and sent a shot past Taylor as he was leveled from behind, tying the score.
The rest of the first quarter belonged to the Warriors. A shot hit the crossbar, but with 2:01 remaining, Andrew Taylor connected from long range. A face-off violation returned the ball to Sanford and Pompeii scored his second of the day on a bouncer. Collin Campbell closed the first with a ground victory that led to a goal with 17 seconds on the clock.
France and Cameron Taylor traded some fine saves in the opening minutes of the second, and neither team could generate many scoring opportunities as the stanza progressed. There were plenty of beatings, however, with sticks and the occasional body falling to the turf. The rain also resumed.
The Auks turned the momentum around starting with an Alex Starnes goal on a leading turnover shot with 4:45 to go. Jack O’Neill won the faceoff and Aidan Mahoney took the ball down the left side, cut in front and scored to cut Sanford’s lead to one.
Colin Arcari tied the score with 48 seconds left at halftime, sending a shot while flattened, and O’Neill did it himself on the following face-off to put Archmere ahead by a goal at halftime.
They extended their scoring streak in the second half. Drew Duncan executed a double spin move getting his first scorer of the day. Sanford, however, needed just nine seconds to end the streak. Campbell won the tie and soared into midfield, bringing the Warriors down to within one.
The Auks would add two more before the end of the third. O’Neill got through three Warriors and went low, and a steal from the Auks led to a pass to Vince Scibello in front, and he went high. France kept the lead at 8-5 with a huge kick late in the quarter.
O’Neill and Duncan teamed up to seal the win early in the fourth. O’Neill won the draw to start the quarter, and Duncan turned that into a goal 10 seconds later. They repeated that streak on the ensuing faceoff, getting another score just eight seconds later.
The Auks wore white uniforms with red letters and numbers as they celebrated their fourth annual Penna Day, held in memory of the late Anthony Penna, a junior Archmere and lacrosse program member who died in a car crash in 2017. Anthony’s parents, Rob and Mel, and his Class of 2020 sister Gabby were on hand to raise awareness of the Anthony Penna Charitable Fund, which raises money for local community arts initiatives. stage.
Duncan led the Auks with four goals, and Kupiec and Starnes each scored two. The Auks had a 43-30 advantage in shooting and France made 16 saves. Archmere improved to 10-1. They travel to Tatnall on Tuesday for a game at 3:45 p.m. before closing out the regular season with three straight home games.
Pompeii had a hat trick for Sanford and Cameron Taylor made 13 saves. The Warriors (10-1) play their next three home games, starting Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Milford.
All photos by Mike Lang.