Short’s first-half goal puts Tech in state title game

FREDERICA – Sometimes, one goal is all it takes.

This was certainly the case for the Sussex Tech field hockey squad in Tuesday night’s 1-0 semifinal victory over Dover.

The shutout win sets Tech up with a showdown against Cape Henlopen in Saturday afternoon’s DIAA Division I state championship game.

Senior Kira Short scored the lone goal with 25:51 to play in the opening half.

“That goal, we had an amazing corner execution, an amazing shot and I just hit it and hoped for the best,” Short said. “We worked so hard and I think that early goal set the tone for the rest of the game. Our girls showed a lot of heart and I think it was a well-deserved win.”

The Lady Ravens celebrate following a 1-0 semifinal victory over Dover Tuesday night at DE Turf Sports Complex in Fredercia (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Short’s goal provided the Lady Ravens with the momentum and Tech’s defense did the rest.

Senior goalkeeper Grace Lee turned in a fantastic effort in goal despite the Lady Senators’ offensive attack peppering her with shots early and often.

“We have an amazing defense,” Short said. “Grace is an incredible goalie, I’d say the best in our conference if not in our state. She just had an amazing game.”

In the first half alone, No. 4 Dover (9-4-2) earned 14 penalty corners. Not a single ball got past her.

By game’s end, Dover had 18 penalty corners without a goal to show for it.

“It says a lot about our defense,” Lee said. “My defense and I always work really well together, we have each other’s backs. If I go out, I know they’re behind me. It felt good back there to have 18 corners and not get scored on.”

“Dover is a very strong team,” Short said. “They came out, they were fast, they were strong. I give them a lot of credit for the heart that they gave as well as what we gave. I’m just glad our defense is strong and they were able to step up and get us the win.”

Earning the No. 8 seed in the tournament following a 9-5-1 regular season, Sussex Tech upset the No. 1 seed Padua in last week’s first-round showdown to set-up the match-up with Dover.

Tech junior midfielder Taylor Wroten (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“We were confident going in to that game because we knew it was anyone’s game,” Short said of Tech’s 1-0 first-round upset victory. “We were the eighth seed, but that didn’t mean anything. We were all going in to the tournament as eight new teams. It was a new season for us, and we were super excited. We just showed so much heart, we came out with a win.”

It was Regan Sammons who scored the lone goal in Tech’s tournament opener, netting the goal with under three minutes to play.

“I think it brought our confidence up a lot,” Lee said. “Being the No. 8 seed, no one really expects us to beat the No. 1 seed, but then we did, and we were like ‘wow, we can actually do this.’ So, we’re just making it happen and practicing hard each day and hopefully Saturday night we can come home with the ring.”

In head coach Mia Paltrineri’s first season at the helm, her Lady Ravens will be competing for a state championship at University of Delaware Saturday afternoon.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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