CLAYMONT – Just in case there were any doubts on anyone’s mind about who was supposed to win Monday afternoon’s girls soccer game between visiting Tatnall and Archmere, the Auks wanted to erase them early. Archmere took the opening tap and got it to Leah DaCosta, who found Nicole Witherell streaking down the right side.
Witherell dribbled around a defender, closed in on Hornets keeper Rachel Cohen and found the far post for a 1-0 lead a mere seconds into the game. The Auks kept the pressure on the entire game and went on to a 5-0 win, improving to 7-0-1 on the season.
Archmere, ranked second in Division II by both statewide polls, controlled every aspect of the contest, barely allowing the Hornets to cross midfield in the first half. The Auks used precision passing and superior speed to generate offensive opportunities, and although the Hornets were able to shut down most of them, Archmere simply had too much.
Witherell scored her second goal in the 15th minute in a very similar fashion to the first. This time, Frances Buckley fed her a pass, and Witherell buried it.
Cohen kept the Hornets withing striking distance with two excellent saves after Witherell’s second goal. In the 22nd minute, she turned away an effort by DaCosta, and 11 minutes later, she rejected Grace Johnston from point-blank range with a quick left hand.
Off a throw-in with three minutes left in the half, however, the Auks struck again. Maddie Law took a throw-in, set up from the edge of the 18-yard box and drilled a shot off Cohen’s fingertips and into the upper 90. That gave Archmere a 3-0 halftime lead.
DaCosta scored both of the Auks’ second-half goals, in the 55th and 59th minutes. Dara Dawson assisted on both.
Archmere had 21 shots to Tatnall’s three and 10 corner kicks to one for the Hornets. Auks goalkeeper Kyra Giakas made three saves; the Auks have allowed just three goals all season. The team won its sixth straight game and will take that streak to St. Mark’s on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start.
Tatnall (1-7) returns home Wednesday for a 3:45 p.m. match against Delaware Military Academy. The Seahawks are ranked fourth and fifth in Division II in the statewide polls.