CLAYMONT – Brianna Niggebrugge’s first goal of the season gave Padua a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the second half, and that was enough as the Pandas took a 2-1 win at Archmere on Sept. 21 in Claymont. With the win, Padua – the state’s top Division I team, according to 302Sports.com – improved to 2-0 on the season.
Niggebrugge was on the doorstep to take the rebound of a saved shot, and she chipped it high into the top of the cage over the prone Auks goalkeeper, Mady McDougal.
“I just got to the end of it,” Niggebrugge said. “It was a really good setup. We’ve been working really hard creating that situation.”
Her goal proved to be necessary as the Auks responded a minute and a half later. On a penalty corner, Lauren Ross sent a pass to Caroline Donovan. She maneuvered along the top of the circle, found some open spae and sent a laster to the far side past Padua goalkeeper Shannon McCormac.
The Pandas controlled possession most of the first half, keeping the pressure on the Auks. It finally paid off with 9:19 to go until halftime. Angela Taglione picked up the ball just over midfield along the right sideline. She dribbled into the corner, then sent a crossing pass into the circle. Katie Buczik was able to tap a loose ball over the Kathleen Melia, whose reverse shot found the back of the cage behind Auks keeper Mady McDougal.
Archmere, the seventh-ranked team in Division II, stayed close thanks to some strong defense on several second-half penalty corners for the Pandas, who earned four in a five-minute stretch. McDougal kept the Auks’ deficit at one with two impressive saves following the second of those corners. The first was a kick save on a shot from about 10 feet away, while she swatted the follow-up with her left blocker.
Archmere put the pressure on in the closing minutes, picking up a penalty corner with less than seven minutes to go. But Padua kept the tight defense and went home with a one-goal victory.
Padua finished with 11 shots to Archmere’s six, and they had the edge in penalty corner, 8-3. The Pandas return to action on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. vs. St. Elizabeth.
Archmere (2-2) faces another stiff test on Tuesday, visiting Wilmington Friends at 3:45 p.m.