The Smyrna boys lacrosse team is making strides in their second varsity season and are 5-3 going into the second half of the schedule.
The Eagles capped a 2-1 week Saturday with an 18-1 win over Christiana High School.
"Christiana has a small squad but they've got a ton of heart," head coach Mike Judy said after the win. "They're a bunch of tough kids. I thought both teams played pretty well. Our depth just kind of overcame."
The Eagles took a 16-0 lead going in the half. When Smyrna returned for the third quarter, Judy said the team slowed things down a bit and were trying to work on a few skills including passing. Plus, several junior varsity players got a chance to gain some varsity experience.
"JV played a majority of the second half and they did a great job. We had one JV player score a goal and get an assist," Judy said.
Leading the way for the Eagles in the win were Matt Marthaler with four goals and one assist, Jordan Kiger with three goals and four assists, and Andrew Gilbert with two goals and four assists.
Earlier in the week, Smyrna defeated Delmar on Wednesday 7-4. The Eagles lost a close game Friday 7-6 to Delaware Military Academy, which is one of the top teams in the state.
"They have not been held under 16 goals this season and then we held them to 7 [goals]. We were close to getting the win," Judy said.
Delaware Military defeated St. Elizabeth 14-4 on Saturday; it was their second lowest score total on the season.
Overall Judy said the team has been playing well. He said one of the most important factors this year is the players' increased knowledge – they call it lacrosse IQ – for the game, which is expected when the kids play more.
The team is doing well controlling midfield and controlling the tempos of the games. Judy said their clearing game has been great. He thinks the players need to continue to work on crisp and accurate passes, and placement of shots.
With the Eagles in the second half of their season, Judy said they're getting into the meat of the Henlopen Conference schedule.
"The Henlopen Conference is the single toughest conference in the state," Judy said. "From top to bottom anybody can take a game any day of the week."
The Eagles play at Sussex Tech Wednesday, April 24 and home Friday, April 26 vs. Sussex Central. The following week they face CR and Red Lion.
"I'm very proud of the things that aren't necessarily taught here but are reinforced here like heart, hustle and desire," Judy said. "Those things they get it from their parents, they get it from whoever raises them and we just try to reinforce them. They've never let me down in that department ever. Win or loss I'm incredibly proud of them."
Eagles 'Play for a Cure'
The Smyrna High School sports games on Saturday were part of "Spring Sports Play for a Cure." The lacrosse players wore purple shoelaces in support of finding a cure for cancer. The softball and baseball teams were going to do the same in homes games against Red Lion, but the games were postponed.
All proceeds from the lacrosse game will go to the American Cancer Society.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.