Coming into Wednesday's opening of the DIAA state field hockey tournament, the #2 seeded Tatnall Hornets were seen as one of the favorites. The Hornets drew the #15 seeded Caesar Rodney Riders, who were given little chance to pull off an upset. However, a late Tatnall goal was the difference, as the Hornets advanced defeating the Riders 3-2.
CR came out ready to play on Wednesday, taking immediate control of the game and tilting the field offensively toward the Hornet cage. All of that offensive pressure paid off just six minutes into the contest when Lexi Prillaman found the back of the net to give the Riders an early 1-0 lead.
The early goal against seemed to wake up the Hornets, who were plagued by off-the-mark passing and some tense moments in their own end due to all the CR pressure early on. Tatnall began to get some offensive chances and finally scored on Meredith Boardman goal to tie things up at 1-1 heading into the break.
Tatnall opened the half looking to take control of the game when Boardman found the back of the net for the second time giving the Hornets a 2-1 lead with just over 19:00 left in the game.
The Hornet defense did their best to stifle the CR offense and did so until Kayla Conley tied things up for the Riders with just five minutes left in the contest.
To the Hornets' credit, they didn't put their heads down after the tying goal, instead Tatnall turned up the heat on CR. Just minutes later, Cynthia Stellar scored for Tatnall to give them the lead with just over two minutes left to go in the contest, sealing the win for the Hornets.
Tatnall now moves on to take on #10 Charter School of Wilmington who upset #7 Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday. The Hornets and Force will play their second round contest on Saturday at Tower Hill starting at 11:00 a.m.