CHESTER, Pa. – Will Schatzman pounced on a loose ball and scored in the second minute of the second overtime to lift Archmere to a thrilling 1-0 victory over Wilmington Charter in Diamond State Athletic Conference boys soccer Tuesday evening at Talen Energy Stadium. The win puts the Auks, the No. 3 team in the state in Division II according to 302Sports.com, in the driver’s seat in the race for the conference title.
Both teams packed the defenders in late in regulation and throughout the first overtime period, and it was no different as the second 10-minute session began. The Auks’ Andrew Rosenbaum took an outlet pass from his defense at midfield, dribbled through a bit of space and — with three Charter players within a few yards of him — chipped the ball toward the Force net from the edge of the 18-yard box.
His shot was headed by a Charter defender, deflecting off the crossbar over the head of Force goalkeeper Matt Bowen. Schatzman, who had been held in check throughout the second half of the contest, was in perfect position to get the ball, and he knocked it into the back of the net to end the marathon match.
Schatzman and his teammates streaked toward the sizable Archmere student section. It was the end of a long night at the home of the Philadelphia Union, and the second straight year where these two teams put on a show for those smart enough to come out and watch.
Momentum swung back and forth all night, although offensive opportunities were at a premium. When shots did get through, Bowen and his Auks counterpart, Niko Triantafillou, were equal to the task. Triantafillou, a freshman, made the first save in the fifth minute, and Bowen got some help from a friendly post that got between Schatzman and a goal in the 14th. Schatzman found some open space later in the first, but he was stopped by Bowen. The Force keeper stoned Schatzman again early in the second.
Charter, ranked second in Division I, had two corner kicks in the 50th minute, but one resulted in a shot that went just over the crossbar and on to the top of the net, while the second ended with a ball off the crossbar above Triantafillou. The Force bottled up the Auks’ attack, and neither team was able to generate too much as the clock ran down.
Each team had eight shots, with Triantafillou credited with five saves. The Auks (8-1) celebrate homecoming on Saturday by welcoming Dover for a noon start.
The Force had seven corner kicks to five for Archmere. Charter lost its first game and is now 8-1. They host Conrad on Thursday on their homecoming night under temporary lights at 7:15 p.m.