BEAR – The 10th-seeded Tower Hill Hillers edged No. 7 St. Mark’s, 2-1, in penalty kicks in the opening round of the DIAA Division II soccer tournament on Nov. 7 at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy. After 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, the Hillers won the penalty kick competition, 4-2.
The Spartans controlled the play early and capitalized on a corner kick when Angelo Sisofo slammed home a clearing attempt in the fifth minute to make it 1-0. Alex Racape was great in goal all night for the Hillers, including a nice save off another Spartans corner kick. It looked like the Hillers were going to tie it in the 39th minute, but keeper Sean Lenderman made a ridiculous save to keep the Spartans ahead at the break.
The Spartans had a couple of chances to add to their lead, but an Eric Ludman shot hit off the post, and Racape made a great save on a low 25-yard shot by Sisofo. The Hillers had a chance to tie it in the 60th minute, but a Teddy Hughes shot just missed wide.
Tower got a break in the 75th minute when Hughes was interfered with in the box to set up a penalty kick. Joseph Pinto drilled the kick to level the score at 1. St. Mark’s had a few chances at the end but was just off target.
Both teams had some chances in the first overtime, but the goalies were there to make the stops. The Spartans’ bench and fans thought they won it in the 95th minute when a Spartans shot hit the post, and the rebound was hit off the outside of the net. The Hillers held on to force the penality kicks.
The Hillers scored on all four of their kicks while the Spartans missed a couple. Racape guessed the right direction on the fourth kick to send his team to the second round. They will face second-seeded Friends on Saturday at Caravel at 5 p.m. The Spartans finished the season at 8-7-1.