CLAYMONT — Archmere’s boys soccer team withstood a fierce challenge from Sanford in the first half of their game on Sept. 17, and the Auks clamped down in the second half on their way to a 3-1 victory.
Archmere was up, 1-0, before many of the spectators even had found a seat on the sidelines. Ben Meredith beat Warriors goalkeeper Andrew Kedash in the third minute. But Sanford grabbed the momentum after that, making several trips downfield but not testing Archmere keeper Kyle Zahnow.
Despite the advantage in possession for the Warriors, the Auks struck next in the 18th minute. An Archmere backcheck resulted in a turnover. A pass toward the middle of the field at the top of the 18-yard box was taken by Austin Curtis. He danced around a defender and sent a shot low to the right to double the advantage.
But Sanford kept the heat on. Zahnow stopped one shot in the 20th minute before facing a stiffer test in the 25th. Nai-Te Watson got possession along the left sideline and motored downfield. He approached Zahnow and shot from about 20 yards out. Zahnow made the save, but the rebound bounced right back to the approaching Watson, and he made the second chance count.
Sanford missed on a few opportunities to tie the game as the first half rolled on. In the final three minutes of the first half alone, they had a corner kick, along with a mid-range free kick. Just before the halftime whistle, Watson took a feed after a steal, but his shot was stopped by a diving Zahnow.
The Auks were a different team in the second half, essentially owning possession and buckling down on defense. They peppered Kedash with shots, including one off a set piece on a corner kick that resulted in a point-blank save.
Their defense helped lead to their third goal. A turnover by the Warriors ended up on the foot of Aidan Naughter, and he delivered the ball to Nicholas Donelson for the final goal.
The Auks finished with a 10-6 shot advantage, and Zahnow had four saves. Each team had two corner kicks. The Auks (3-0) play at home Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. against Wilmington Charter.
For the Warriors, Kedash had six saves. Sanford (0-2) also plays Wilmington Charter in its next game, which is Monday at 3:30 p.m. on the road.
All photos by Mike Lang.