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Archmere field hockey moves to DIAA Division II semifinals after defeat of Indian River

The ball hits the net on Lindsey Renshaw's goal for Archmere early in the first period of a field hockey tournament game between the Auks and Indian River. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

CLAYMONT — Bella Dell’Oso had a goal and an assist to lead Archmere to a 2-1 win over Indian River in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA Division II field hockey state tournament on Dec. 5 at Archmere. The Auks are advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 2011.

The game, played on a windy, cold afternoon, was tied for more than 20 minutes before the Auks took the lead with 10:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Dell’Oso, a sophomore, caught up with a loose ball while running down the left side of the field. She corralled the ball, dribbled along the baseline, chipped past a defender and sent the ball toward the area in front of IR goalkeeper Allyson Clark. The ball hit something on the way, however, and rolled past Clark into the far corner of the cage.

Archmere, the third seed, had a chance to add an insurance marker two minutes after Dell’Oso’s goal, but Clark made the kick save. No. 6 Indian River’s last best opportunity involved a long pass that found Emma Ruley, but the Auks’ defenders closed off any access to Archmere keeper Maura Smeader.

Dell’Oso picked up her assist before some of the fans arrived at the game. She inbounded the ball on a penalty corner to Lindsey Renshaw, whose laser shot from the top of the circle sailed high past Clark and into the netting, giving the Auks the edge just 1:17 in.

The Indians had the better of the opportunities after that, however, including a two-on-one late in the first. That possession ended, however, when the Indians lost the ball out of bounds.

Clark kept the score 1-0 early in the second with two saves before Indian River turned up the heat. A penalty corner led to a pair of saves by Smeader, and the third-chance opportunity rolled wide. The Indians would earn three more corners in the third, and finally they connected.

The inbounds pass was sent to the far right of Smeader, and Jessica Rybicki passed it through the circle, where Macy Blades knocked the ball into an open cage with 2:23 to go. That tied the game as it headed to the final quarter.

The Auks had 11 shots and seven penalty corners. Smeader was credited with three saves. Archmere (13-1) will play at No. 2 Caravel on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Indian River finished with 10 shots and seven corners. Clark had four saves. The Indians ended their season at 6-7.

All photos by Jason Winchell.