For The Dialog
BEAR – Sixth-seeded Sanford managed a goal in the 51st minute by Kendal Trickey and held on to defeat No. 3 Archmere, 1-0, in the second round of the girls Division II soccer tournament May 25 at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy.
Sanford goalkeeper Maria Thomas, an eighth-grader, returned from injury, while Nicole Witherell was in the net again for the Auks in place of injured keeper Kyra Giakas. Both keepers made some nice saves in the first half, and Auks defender Madelyn Heck headed away a sure goal on a corner kick five minutes in.
Archmere had a few good chances in the first, but Thomas was up to the task. A shot from 30 yards by Sully Boulden was turned away in the 16th minute, and a Leah DaCosta shot sailed high in the 28th. Witherell made two key saves in the closing minutes of the half to keep it scoreless.
The Auks put some early pressure on in the second, but they couldn’t take advantage. The Warriors earned a corner kick, and Trickey jumped, did a 180 and knocked the ball in with the back of her head.
“We saw their weakness from watching film, and we were able to score,” she said.
Sanford kept the pressure on but could not add to the lead. Archmere had its best chances in the final two minutes, but Thomas came out to stone DaCosta on one attempt, jumping on the rebound before Boulden could get to it. She then made a diving stop on a Boulden free kick from 21 yards out.
“I set up my wall on the left side, so I knew I had anything on the right side,” said Thomas, who missed the previous seven games due to a foot injury that required surgery. “I was waiting for them to blow the whistle. It seemed like an eternity there at the end.”
Sanford (13-3-1) advances to the semifinals next Wednesday, where it will meet the winner of the Caravel-St. Georges game, which is tonight at 6 p.m. at Dover High School. Archmere closed out a fine season in which its only regular-season loss came to Padua, ranked third in the country. The Auks finished 12-2-2.