SMYRNA – Last year, Lake Forest was thrilled to reach the DIAA Division II Girls Soccer Tournament.
This year, the Spartans are going to hang around for awhile.
Jocelyn Hughes and Amanda Queen scored, and goalkeeper Alyssa Banks made a huge save in the waning moments as Lake Forest blanked Conrad 2-0 in a first-round game on Saturday.
The sixth-seeded Spartans (13-3) will meet No. 3 Indian River in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Smyrna. The teams met in a Henlopen South game on May 7, with IR winning 6-1.
So Lake Forest may face some long odds, but this victory was sweet. The Spartans lost to Mount Pleasant 2-0 in their tournament opener last year, so this was the first postseason win in the program’s history.
Hughes got the Spartans on the board in the 11th minute when a loose ball bounced off teammate Hannah Fox and came right to her for an easy goal from 12 yards out.
“It bounced off of Hannah, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, the ball is right there,’ ” Hughes said. “One of [the Conrad players] missed it, and I just ran through it. Goal.”
It stayed that way until the 60th minute, when Queen launched a 30-yard rocket that sailed over the fingertips of the Conrad goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.
“I don’t usually get a lot of opportunities to shoot,” Queen said. “I was just standing there watching it thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, oh my goodness,’ and then it went in. I kind of took it just being wild, and then it went in.”
The 11th-seeded Redskins’ (7-7-2) best chance came in the 72nd minute, when Melisa Efe blasted away from 20 yards out off a corner kick. But Banks was in the right place at the right time.
“Either it was going to go in, or I was going to save it,” Banks said. “Thankfully, my teammates put enough pressure on her so that she just shot the ball right at me.”
Ursuline 1, Delmar 0: Lindsay Russell scored the only goal on an unintentional shot just after a 40-minute lightning delay as Ursuline got past Delmar 1-0 in the other first-round game at Smyrna.
Russell played a long ball in from about 40 yards in the 12th minute. In a heavy rain, the ball landed short of the Wildcats’ goalkeeper, then bounced over her head and into the net.
“To be honest with you, I was looking for our forwards,” Russell said. “It was kind of a long ball, and then it kind of went a little farther than we had expected. And luckily for us, their goalie misread it a little bit and it just hopped right over.”
It turned out to be the Raiders’ only shot of the night, but it was enough. Ursuline (9-7), the 10th seed, advanced to play No. 2 Archmere in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at Caravel. Seventh-seeded Delmar finished its season at 10-5-1.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ
LAKE FOREST 2, CONRAD 0
Conrad 0 0 – 0
Lake Forest 1 1 – 2
First half: Hughes (Fox), LF, 11:00.
Second half: Queen, LF, 60:00.
Shots: C 7, LF 8. Saves: C 4 (Fleetwood 4, Greenzweig 0), LF 5 (Banks).
URSULINE 1, DELMAR 0
Ursuline 1 0 – 1
Delmar 0 0 – 0
First half: Russell, U, 12:00.
Shots: U 1, D 4. Saves: U 2 (Olmstead), D 0 (Johnson).