Third straight winning season leads to DIAA state playoff appearance

FELTON — For the third consecutive season, Lake Forest’s varsity field hockey squad put up a winning season. The difference between 2016 and the previous two seasons? This time it ended in a DIAA state playoff appearance.

Snagging a No. 14 seed in the tournament this year, the Lady Spartans traveled to Delmar last Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The match-up with the No. 3-seeded Wildcats ended in a 5-1 loss and early exit from the playoff tournament, with senior midfielder Mya Maddox scoring the lone Spartan goal with 6:21 to play in the game.

Despite the early exit, Lake Forest had a memorable 2016 season, which included a seven-game win streak.

Head coach Michele Tucker and her squad hit a rough patch to start the season, putting up a 1-5-1 record through the first seven games. In that span, the offense produced just 10 goals and the Spartans even blew a 2-0 halftime lead Sept. 27 against Sussex Tech.

Keeping relatively close with Milford and Cape Henlopen – two of the strongest teams in the Henlopen Conference this season – in back-to-back games gave Lake Forest enough confidence to make a major turn-around in the second half of the season.

Over the last eight games of the season, Lake went on a seven-game winning streak and turned in a 7-0-1 record in that span to the finish the regular season at 8-5-2.

In those eight games, the Spartans out-scored opponents 35-5 and registered four shutouts.

In 16 games, including the playoffs, junior forward Kaitlyn Stahre led the team in goals this season, recording 15. Maddox was right behind her on the list with 12 of her own.

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

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