CHESTER, Pa. – Archmere and Wilmington Charter took to the road Oct. 10 for their Diamond State Athletic Conference boys soccer match, and under the lights at Talen Energy Stadium, the Auks ended up shining the brightest. Andrew Rosenbaum scored the only goal of the evening as Archmere made the short trip home to Claymont with a 1-0 win.
Both teams had opportunities to score, and Charter had controlled the play in the second half before the Auks struck. Archmere turned away a Force shot into the crease, and Rosenbaum took possession of the ball. He sent it to Zach Dainton near midfield and took off downfield. Dainton pushed a through ball on the give-and-go, and Rosenbaum had a step on the nearest Charter defender. Keeper Matt Bowen came out, but Rosenbaum was able to drill it belt high to Bowen’s left in the 65th minute.
“I saw that we had a three-on-two, and I saw Dainton pick his head up, so I just streaked to the ball. He fed me a perfect ball,” Rosenbaum said.
The teams played at Talen as part of a community-outreach initiative of the Philadelphia Union, the Major League Soccer team that calls the stadium home. An announced crowd of 692 showed up on the comfortable evening, about evenly split between the two squads.
The players entered the field through the same tunnel the Union use, and the Auks walked out with players from the Concord Soccer Club. Four members of Archmere’s elite Mastersingers – of which Anthony Penna was a member – performed the National Anthem. It was an atmosphere the players and their families won’t soon forget.
“It’s incredible just to have this experience,” Rosenbaum said. “Thank you to the Union for having us here. It’s just an amazing experience to be here.”
The evening also presented an opportunity to raise money for the Anthony Penna Foundation, established after the death last week of the Archmere junior, who was a member of the soccer team. Penna’s No. 15 jersey hung on a wall behind the Archmere bench, and the sign boards that surround the field, as well as the video board overlooking the field included panels with the #PennaStrong message. A moment of silence was held before the match. Rosenbaum said the team has come together in the wake of the tragedy. “It’s made us closer to each other, appreciate each other more.”
It was Charter, however, who came out in control. The Force earned three corner kicks in the first nine minutes, but the lone shot they produced from those was saved by Archmere keeper John Prosceno. The Auks gradually took the momentum through the middle of the first half, but Charter did not allow any goals. The Force would have two more corners in the final five minutes before intermission, but to no avail.
Charter did get one ball past Prosceno in the second half, but the goal did not count. The keeper dove to smother a shot, and a Force attacker made contact with him while he was laying on the ground. The referee blew the play dead immediately, negating the shot taken seconds later.
Prosceno was credited with seven saves on 12 Force shots. Archmere is 3-0-1 in its last five matches and improved to 5-3-1 overall. The Auks return to the home pitch Friday at 3:45 p.m. when Tatnall visits.
Bowen made five saves on seven shots by the Auks. Charter (5-4-1) hits the road Friday for a match at Conrad beginning at 3:30 p.m.