For The Dialog
BEAR – Salesianum is used to championship soccer teams, but the 2017 version might be among the best seen on 18th and Broom streets. The Sals opened their march toward an eighth straight state championship by scoring two first-half goals, then holding on in the brisk weather for a 2-0 victory over eighth-seeded Wilmington Charter on Nov. 11 at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy.
The Sals, who are the No. 1 seed, dominated early, picking up five corner kicks in the first 15 minutes. They almost scored on a header off the second corner, but the ball went just high over the net. Salesianum controlled possession all night, executing tic-tac-toe passing. They finally converted on their fifth corner kick as Logan Brown headed the ball past Force keeper Matt Bowen in the 15th minute.
Bowen kept Charter in the match, making three nice saves in the next 15 minutes to keep the Sals’ lead at a single goal. Sallies kept the pressure up, and junior Jack Leonard received a nice feed from senior Bryce Wallace and beat Bowen in the 39th minute to double the lead. The Sals used their possession game throughout the second half to hold off the Force and advance to the semifinal round on Wednesday.
The Sals finished with an 8-0 advantage in both shots and corner kicks. They improved to 15-1 and will meet No. 5 Cape Henlopen on Wednesday at Smyrna High School. That game is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m. It will follow the first semifinal, which pits Cape Henlopen against Appoquinimink. Tickets are good for both games and are available at www.statechamps.com/diaa.
Wilmington Charter finished at 8-6-2.