HOCKESSIN — Sanford and Padua met April 7 in a battle of unbeatens, and when the final whistle sounded some 80 minutes later, the Pandas left the Hockessin Soccer Club turf with a 4-0 victory.
The Pandas controlled the ball all afternoon, but several shots early in the game sailed high over Sanford keeper Morgan Kropiewnicki. The closest the Warriors came to a goal came late in the first 20 minutes, when Michaela Tessein stole a ball about 40 yards out from Pandas goalkeeper Colleen McClintock. As Tessein crossed through the box in front of the keeper, however, a Panda made a deft sliding tackle from behind, ending the threat.
Padua sent a few shots high and sent a direct corner kick in on Kropiewnicki before breaking through in the 33rd minute. Anna Poehlmann fed Sydni Wright, and the senior sent a sharp-angle shot toward the far post. The ball hit the inside of the post and rolled just outside the goal before it spun or was inadvertently knocked into the net.
It took just five minutes for the Pandas to strike again. This time, Sophia Holgado took a deep throw-in and sent a cross toward the front of the net. Breanna Hallo did the rest, swinging and catching the ball about thigh-high and over the keeper’s arms.
The pressure continued in the second half on a glorious, sun-splashed day. Hallo struck again in the 51st, knocking in a turnaround shot just under the crossbar from about 25 yards out, with the assist to Haley Dougherty. Poehlmann closed out the scoring in the 55th, sending a bending shot into the upper 90. The assist went to Skylar Salvo.
The Pandas outshot the Warriors, 23-1, and had two corner kicks to none for Sanford. McClintock saved the only shot she faced for the team’s second clean sheet of the young season. Padua (3-0) will host Delaware Military on April 13 at Hockessin Soccer at 3:30 p.m.
For the Warriors, Kropiewnicki finished with eight saves. The Warriors (2-1) travel to Tower Hill on Friday at 4 p.m. before beginning a six-match homestand.
All photos by Mike Lang.