CLAYMONT — Appoquinimink and Archmere may not meet in the girls soccer postseason since the Jaguars are in Division I and the Auks are Division II, but the game between the Jaguars and Auks on May 15 served as a good barometer for both squads as they head into their respective tournaments.
The Auks held a lead for approximately 35 minutes, but two second-half tallies — including one in literally the final seconds of the contest — helped Appo to a 2-1 win over Archmere.
The Jaguars pressed early, and Auks keeper Gabriela Fernandez was forced to make a diving stop in the 18th minute. They also send a shot just a bit high before the Auks responded. Emma Gioffre broke free down the right side, and her shot was stopped by a diving Isabella Mazzone in the 20th.
Gioffre would not be stopped on her next trip down the field. She dribbled down the middle of the field, moved slightly to her right and sent a shot into the far side of the net. This was the first time the Jaguars had to play from behind all season. In all three of their losses, they gave up the winning goal in overtime.
That was it for the quality chances in the first, although Mazzone did come up with a nice save late on an Auks throw-in.
The Jaguars brought the heat as the second half opened. A throw-i went through the 18-yard box, and a few minutes later they sent a shot off the outside of the net. Appoquinimink sent a free kick toward the net in the 50th, but Fernandez was there for the stop. They added two corner kicks in the next nine minutes but could not convert.
Finally, Appo got on the board. On a counter, Mariana Catania got a step on the Archmere defense and sent a shot from in close off the underside of the crossbar to level the score.
Gioffre had two shots in the minutes after the goal, but Mazzone was equal to both. Both teams had chances over the final 20 minutes on free kicks and corner kicks, but the game headed into the final seconds still tied.
That is when Appo earned the corner kick that would give them the lead. Avery Holland leaped above the crowd in front of Fernandez and headed the ball into the right side of the net. The Auks rushed the ball back down the other end in seconds and were ready to take a corner of their own, but the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the center of the field, signifying the game’s conclusion.
Final statistics were not available late Monday night. Appoquinimink (12-3) awaits its tournament seed, while the Auks will wrap up the regular season against Wilmington Charter on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Hockessin Soccer Club.
All photos by Mike Lang.