The Salesianum soccer team won one, lost one and gained a lot of knowledge on its two-day trip to Colorado over the weekend.
The Sals, ranked fourth nationally in the latest USA Today/National Soccer Coaches Association of America ratings, handled fifth-ranked Fairview High 3-1 on Friday. Jason Blackwell, Gavin Ford and Casey Kurlej each scored in the first 23 minutes.
But just 18 hours later, Sallies fell 5-3 at Boulder High on Saturday. It was the first time the six-time defending Delaware state champs had allowed five goals since losing 5-2 to Charter of Wilmington on Oct. 28, 2010.
“Boulder is a much bigger, stronger, faster, direct team, which typically gives us some more problems style-wise,” Sals coach Scott Mosier said. “The hope was our style would give them some problems.”
It was 2-2 at the half, as Bryce Wallace and Blackwell found the net for the Sals early. But Boulder – ranked second in Colorado behind Fairview – poured in three straight in the second half before John Leonard could answer in the 74th minute.
“We were playing well the first 10, 15 minutes of the second half,” Mosier said. “We had the ball a lot, and then we gave up a goal kind of against the run of play, and that hurt. It was difficult for us to get the energy back.”
The Sals returned home Sunday, after touring the Colorado School of Mines and watching the University of Denver soccer team play North Florida on Saturday.
“High school is about learning and having opportunities to learn,” Mosier said. “I think going out to Colorado was a great experience for our guys. How to travel, how to pack, how to shop, how to eat, how to sleep, all of that stuff when they’re away from home, sometimes it’s a challenge for guys that age.”
The Sals, ranked first in Delaware’s Division I, return home to a major challenge against No. 2 Charter of Wilmington at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Hockessin Soccer Club.
On everybody’s radar
The Milford football team was flying high after a 24-0 home victory over Delaware Military Academy last Friday. But coach Shaun Strickland knows the hardest work is just beginning.
The Buccaneers went 1-9 in 2014, then jumped to 6-4 last year in Strickland’s first season at the helm. Friday’s win over the then No. 2-ranked Seahawks vaulted Milford (2-0) from fifth to second in the latest News Journal Division II rankings released Monday.
“We know there’s still more work to do,” Strickland said. “We’ve got to keep climbing, keep scratching and clawing, because there are more people who are going to step in our way and try to knock us off and take us out of contention.”
Conrad, also off to a 2-0 start, would love to take down the Buccaneers in Milford at 7:30 p.m. Friday. So would each of the Bucs’ six Henlopen South opponents who follow. Because Milford is no longer under the radar.
“I like coming in as the underdog. I really do,” Strickland said. “We’re hungry. We like coming out and playing our best and trying to catch people who really doubt us.
“But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get everyone’s A-game going forward. No one is going to sleep on Milford for the next few weeks.”
Rounding it up
— The Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame will hold its 11th annual induction ceremony and banquet at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Timothy’s on the Riverfront in Wilmington. Inductees are Edward Janvier, a 30-year wrestling official and former state champion; Buddy Lloyd, who coached Smyrna to five straight Henlopen South titles from 1978-83; Henry Milligan, two-time state champion at A.I. du Pont and noted heavyweight boxer; and Roy Rigby, three-time state coach of the year at Milford. Cost is $45, which includes an open bar. Reservations are required, and must be received by Oct. 3. To reserve a ticket, call Donna Silvestri at (610) 496-7524 or (610) 358-5979 or email email@example.com.
— Glasgow will be honoring its 1989 state championship football team during the Dragons’ Oct. 7 home game against Brandywine at 7 p.m. Former players may email athletic director Jeremy Jeanne at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ