Throughout Saturday’s boys soccer game between St. Mark’s and Archmere, the play was generally even, with each team making surges throughout.
The difference in the contest proved to be one touch.
In a game with fairly even in scoring chances, the Spartans (3-2) won on the strength of Jeff Richards’ goal on an assist from Karl Green 29 minutes into the first half.
“I thought we could probably have had some more early, but that felt good,” St. Mark’s coach Dan Swasey said. “Our best scoring chance was the one – we took care of it. It was a great shot by Jeff.”
Following an Archmere turnover in the 29th minute, Green got the ball to Richards, who was about 11 yards from the goal. Richards was then able to put the ball past Archmere goalkeeper Nicholas Costa.
“Karl played me a good ball through,” Richards said. “I finished it.”
Despite a surge over the remainder of the first half following Richards’ goal, St. Mark’s was unable to capitalize and build itself a cushion.
After the first 10 minutes, the field began tilting toward the Auks (4-3) in the middle of the first half. But the game remained scoreless before Richards’ goal thanks in large part to Spartans goalkeeper Chad Fox, who made an impressive kick save to deny Archmere’s Tyler Burns in front of the goal.
“Chad is our solid player, he’s our captain,” Swasey said. “He’s been making plays for us all year, and he deserved to get the shutout today. He did an unbelievable job in there.”
St. Mark’s got a clear bounce from Richards’ goal but was unable to bury an insurance goal before halftime.
Midway through the second half, the Auks had a spate of good scoring chances, with Burns creating a number of opportunities but unable to finish. The St. Mark’s one-goal lead held up thanks in part to Tyler Alessandri, who cleared a ball off the goal line, and an Archmere shot that went off the post.
For Auks coach Bob Bussiere, the lack of finishing was familiar, as his team fell 1-0 to Wilmington Christian on Tuesday.
“When there’s a flurry in the goal area like that, it’s just a matter of getting a foot, a toe, any body part to the ball to redirect it into the goal,” Bussiere said. “We’re just coming up short, and if we do get to it, it seems like it’s coming off the crossbar, the post. That’s just bad luck, but you’ve just got to keep persevering.”