WILMINGTON – St. Mark’s jumped out early on Newark Charter in their delayed first-round girls lacrosse state tournament game, and the Spartans defeated the Patriots, 20-9, going away on May 21. The Spartans remained unbeaten at 16-0 and will meet Ursuline in the semifinals on Wednesday.
The game was played on the turf at Tower Hill School because of wet field conditions at St. Mark’s, but that didn’t seem to bother the second-seeded Spartans. Neither did the fact that the Patriots controlled the opening draw and held the ball for more than a minute before losing possession. It took St. Mark’s just 15 seconds after touching the ball to get on the board, as Megan Noonan ran downfield, went to the middle of the field and scored 1:41 into the contest.
Spartans senior Kendra Schweizer struck quickly to double that lead. Just 35 seconds after the first goal, Schweizer connected on a free-position shot.
After Emma Ueltzhoffer got No. 7 Newark Charter on the board, St. Mark’s created some distance between the teams. Noonan picked up her second of the afternoon at 19:36, coming after a steal. It took another five minutes before the Spartans scored again, and this time St. Mark’s took possession on a ground ball, worked it around the offensive end, and Schweizer found Paige Megargee cutting.
The next two goals were scored in a 19-second span. Schweizer hit on another free-position with 12:54 to go in the first, and after a Patriots timeout, Schweizer won the draw, drove the right side and passed to Clare Estes running the middle of the field. Estes beat Patriots keeper Rory Essick high to make it 6-1.
The margin fluctuated between three and four goals for much of the remainder of the half, but Newark Charter put itself in a shorthanded spot with 1:29 left while trailing, 9-5. Estes made them pay, taking a pass down low from Schweizer and bouncing one home. It was 10-5 at halftime.
The Patriots picked up goals from Sam Karr and Victoria Dunbar in short order at the beginning of the second half to pull within three, but St. Mark’s responded with the next three to put some distance between them and their opponent. Newark Charter got one more, on a free-position attempt with approximately 17 minutes to go in the game, but the Spartans pulled away, scoring the seven of the final eight goals of the game.
Schweizer led the way for St. Mark’s with seven goals. Noonan had six, while Estes and Megargee each posted three. Sadie Leonard had the other goal for the Spartans. They will meet Ursuline on Wednesday at a site and time to be announced. The rivals met April 17 at Serviam Field, with St. Mark’s going home with a 13-10 win.
For Newark Charter, the Karr sisters, Madison and Sam, each had three goals. Emma Ueltzhoffer had a pair, and Dunbar scored one. The Patriots finished with a record of 13-4.
The other semifinal will feature fourth-seeded Archmere against No. 1 Cape Henlopen. It will be played Wednesday at a site and time to be announced. The state championship is scheduled for May 29; the site and time will be determined after the semifinals.