Caesar Rodney and Dover aren’t evenly matched in every sport.
Even when one team appears to have an advantage, the intensity of the rivalry often keeps the score close. That was the case Tuesday, as the Senators put a scare into the Riders’ top-ranked girls soccer team before CR held on for a 2-1 victory.
“I thought we really controlled the game and played well, but we just did not finish,” Riders coach Darrell Gravatt said. “I don’t know how many shots we had, but it was a lot.”
CR outshot Dover 15-1, but Senators goalkeeper Caroline Cashion had seven saves and the Riders misfired a few times.
Lexi Prillaman finished a pass from Janiah Moore in the ninth minute, and Alexa Faulmino headed in a cross from Aleya Cummings in the 47th to give CR a 2-0 lead.
But Dover’s Iyana Casey took the ball away from a Riders defender and slid it into the right corner of the net in the 65th minute, the first goal allowed by CR all season. The Senators (4-4) had another scoring chance in the final 30 seconds, but the play was ruled offside.
Afterward, the Dover players hugged and celebrated as if they had won.
“They’re the best team in the state, but we rose to the challenge,” Senators coach Paul Booton said. “They bought into the plan that we were trying to do. … I couldn’t be prouder.
“The girls are excited,” he added. “How many times do you see girls scream and be excited after they lose 2-1?”
The Riders’ (8-0) only other close game was a 1-0 win over A.I. du Pont on April 8.
“Most teams try their best to knock us off,” Gravatt said. “We can be the high point of their season if they play well. I’m proud of our girls. We didn’t play our best, but we still pulled off the victory.”