MILLTOWN – Ben Dunning scored in the 42nd minute, and that was enough for Wilmington Charter in a 1-0 win at St. Mark’s on Sept. 15.
The Force, ranked fifth in Division I by 302Sports.com, and the Spartans were scoreless in the first half, although Charter had the better scoring opportunities. St. Mark’s keeper Eric Ludman kept the Force off the board with some outstanding play. He went far to his left in the ninth minute to knock a long pass out of harm’s way. He stopped a header off a corner kick in the 32nd, and four minutes later, Ludman punched a shot ticketed for the upper 90 over the crossbar with a well-timed leap.
St. Mark’s best opportunity in the first half came on a header by Peter Coker in the last two minutes of the first half, but Force keeper Matt Bowen was there for the save.
The momentum Charter had built up as the first half wore on continued into the second, and it paid dividends early on. Dunning picked up a loose ball on the left side about 35 yards from the net. He dribbled through two defenders into the box and sent a hard shot into the far corner of the net.
The Force had a few more chances, but Ludman was equal to the task. He made another superb save in the 45th off a free kick, deflecting a shot that went off a post. The rebound was sent wide. Charter had several chances go wide or over the net.
Charter outshot the Spartans, 17-6, and had three corner kicks to none for St. Mark’s. Ludman had 13 saves. The Spartans (2-1), the No. 4 team in Division II, travel to Woodside to meet Polytech on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Charter (2-1) is home Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. against MOT Charter.