Salesianum (DE) Trying to Pounce Perfection

By Ryan Rohde

Perfection is something that is not easily attained. Just one play can end an undefeated season at a moment's notice. Ask the 2007 New England Patriots how they feel about New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree.

Last season, Salesianum was 17-0 heading into the Delaware state championship game against Cape Henlopen, a team they had beaten 10-2 earlier that year. With just over two minutes left in the state title game, Cape Henlopen's Daniel Steele picked up a rebound and found an open Chris Woodruff on the doorstep to give Cape an 8-7 lead. As Salesiamum's final shot attempt sailed wide and time ran out, the Sals' perfect season was no more.

"They played hard all year. It's tough to go 17-0 and maintain that intensity for a whole year. They came out and ran into a team that was extremely tough," head coach Bob Healy told the Community News after the state title game. "We knew the season didn't mean that much when the playoffs started. That's the real season. We started off good ... we just didn't finish it off."

Healy and the Sals know what it is like to be successful. Salesianum is 45-3 in Healy's three years at the helm and captured the state championship in 2007 with a 16-1 record. The team will take the lessons of the title game last season with them into 2009-mainly, that it takes every minute of every game to post a perfect record.

The Sals have been impressive in their first two games, posting wins over Archbishop Ryan, PA (PR: 92.1) and Wilmington Friends (PR:84.0). They are now 3-0 after beating Brandywine (PR: 81.8), 14-3, on April 2.

Although the Sals lost a lot of talent from last year's squad, there is plenty coming back that makes Salesianum the frontrunner for the state championship. Brandon Groux returns after a monster junior campaign and will be the focus of the opposing team's defense. The All-America candidate tallied seven goals and four assists in the team's first two games. Dan Tryon and Andrew Blundin are two more offensive threats the Sals will rely on this season. Keep an eye on sophomore Ryan Kilpatrick on defense, who might be due to have a breakout season.

Salesianum has started out on the right foot for the 2009 season. This team has some unfinished business and it could spell trouble for the rest of the state. For the Sals, it is three down and 15 to go for that perfect season.


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