Archmere Academy played its possession game to great effectiveness from the get-go Wednesday night and went on to grab a quarterfinal spot in the DIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament.
Two first-half goals, each set up by junior left wing Camryn Hicks, did the trick as the Auks blanked St. Georges, 2-0, in a first-round matchup at Caravel’s Bob Peoples Stadium.
No. 6-seeded Archmere (14-2) advanced to meet No. 3 Caesar Rodney on Saturday, with Auks coach Mike Finizio confessing that the Riders are an extremely challenging foe.
“We know they’re very good because we scrimmaged them,” Finizio said. “We’ll have to play better than we did [Wednesday].
“But we did a nice job spreading out the field, possessing the ball, making our passes and doing what we had to do. We’ve been doing that much better lately.”
The Auks, who controlled the midfield as well, were so good at it, in fact, that St. Georges coach Bonnie Mills said her team became fatigued very quickly by having to give chase so much.
“They possess and pass the ball very well, and it was good for us to see that, because we have a young team and we need to do that more,” Mills said. “But I’m proud of my girls. They gave a good effort.”
The Flight B champion Hawks, seeded 11th, finished 12-4.
Archmere kept the ball in its offensive end early. That paid off when Hicks sent the ball across from the left corner. She found her target, as Gillian Sweeny finished it off for a 1-0 Auks lead in the 10th minute.
St. Georges goalie Carly Buchanan then came off her line to slide in and thwart another Archmere chance that resulted from four pass connections.
But Archmere’s persistence paid off in the 37th minute when Hicks, showing little sign of the ankle and knee injuries that have limited her this year, took the ball toward the net herself and then slid a pass to Kassidy McVey on the far post. McVey’s goal made it 2-0, and that score stood.
St. Georges rarely tested the Auks in the back. Hawks fans got vocal in the second half on a couple of set-piece opportunities. But Archmere’s Ashley Brooks headed away one delivery, and another, Jessica Unsihuay’s attempt from the edge of the penalty area, sailed over the crossbar.
“St. Georges was a good team,” Hicks said. “They were very quick, so we knew had to make clean passes.”