CLAYMONT – After a sluggish first half in which both teams combined for five shots, Archmere and St. Mark’s found a bit of an offensive groove when play resumed. The Auks built a 2-0 lead, then held on as St. Mark’s scored once and threatened a few other times in the last 10 minutes of Wednesday afternoon’s 2-1 Archmere win in girls soccer.
Archmere came out after halftime and applied some offensive pressure, and in the 48th minute, the work paid off. Senior Gillian Sweeny beat her defender to catch up to a pass from classmate Maddie Love and put the ball past Spartans goalkeeper Heather Swain and into the far corner for a 1-0 lead. The Auks kept the heat on, and four minutes after Sweeny’s marker, Swain made a diving stop of another Auks shot to keep the score 1-0.
The Auks took advantage of a corner kick in the 59th lead to double their lead. This time, it was a freshman, Maddie Law, who drilled the corner kick, which bounced off a Spartan and past Swain for the 2-0 advantage.
The offensive overtures continued for Archmere, as sophomore Leah DaCosta had a chance to add to the team’s lead in the 64th minute. DaCosta dribbled past a defender down the right side and let a shot fly from about 20 yards out. The ball sailed wide past the right post.
Although Archmere had found its footing, someone forgot to tell St. Mark’s. The Spartans kept attacking, and in the 70th minute, junior Madison Burnham found herself all alone in front of Auks keeper MacKenzie McDougal. Burnham left no doubt, lifting the ball over McDougal’s outstretched arms to cut the deficit in half.
The Spartans would have a few chances to tie the match as time wound down. A free kick in the 73rd minute was wide right, and on a corner kick in the final minutes, the teams scrambled as the ball settled just inches from the goal line before McDougal was able to corral it. Finally, McDougal deflected a shot wide with approximately a minute to go.
Archmere remained undefeated at 7-0-1. The Auks are home Friday at 3:45 p.m., hosting Delaware Military Academy in a Division II showdown. The Seahawks are 8-1-1. St. Mark’s, which fell to 5-5, is also at home Friday to play Middletown. That game also begins at 3:45 p.m.