Home Local Sports Catholic schools prepare for postseason as DIAA soccer, field hockey brackets announced

Catholic schools prepare for postseason as DIAA soccer, field hockey brackets announced

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The Force's Matt Capretto battles Sallies' Gianluca Marroni in a game earlier this week. The Sals are the top seed in the Division I soccer tournament. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

A strong schedule and a good regular-season performance has earned Salesianum the top seed in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Division I soccer tournament, which begins with the quarterfinal round on Nov. 10 at Abessinio Stadium. The Sals will be seeking their second consecutive championship and ninth in 10 seasons since the DIAA split soccer into two divisions in 2013.

Sallies will open up against the eighth seed, St. Georges Tech, at 8:30 p.m. That game follows No. 7 Sussex Tech vs. No. 2 Delcastle, which is playing on a neutral field. That game begins at 6 p.m.

Jake Ross of Sallies battles a Saint Mark’s player for possession. File photo

The Sals finished with a record of 13-2, with their losses coming at Appoquinimink, the fifth seed in the tourney, and St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.), a national powerhouse normally ranked in the top three in the country. In seven games against Delaware opponents, the Sals conceded just five goals. Forwards Jake Ross and Gianluca Marroni and goalkeeper Zach Bittner lead a talented roster for the Sals.

St. Georges finished the season 9-5-1. The Hawks, members of Blue Hen Conference Flight A, are led on offense by Joshua Freeman and Jacob Simpson.

The other Division I matchups are Appo at No. 4 Cape Henlopen, along with sixth seed Caesar Rodney at No. 3 Wilmington Charter. They both are scheduled for Nov. 11.

The Spartans’ Dan Otlowski controls a loose ball against Brandywine. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

In Division II soccer, Saint Mark’s is the lone Catholic school to make the tournament. The Spartans are the third seed in the 12-team field and will have a first-round bye. They will host the winner of No. 11 Sussex Academy at No. 6 Delaware Military Academy on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.

The Spartans finished the season 12-3, with all three of their losses coming to Division I tournament teams: Salesianum, Delcastle and Wilmington Charter. They defeated DMA, 2-1, in the second game of the season in overtime.

Goalkeeper Ryan Betts backstops the Spartans, who play an aggressive, entertaining brand of soccer. Goal scorers include Dan Otlowski and Jeremy Shannon, who have plenty of support. The Spartans reached the quarterfinal of last year’s Division II tournament. They last appeared in a state championship match in 2011 and have won 11 titles. Caravel is the top seed in the bracket.

Bella Dell’Oso rushes upfield for the Auks at Tower Hill. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

Archmere is the second seed in the Division II field hockey bracket and will open play on Nov. 12 at home against the winner of No. 10 Saint Mark’s and No. 7 Sussex Academy. The Auks finished the regular season 13-2, with wins over Saint Mark’s, Padua, Tatnall and Wilmington Charter. Their losses came to Smyrna, the second seed in Division I, and Tower Hill, which finished strong to make the Division II field as the 12th seed.

Seniors Bella Dell’Oso and Emma Gioffre lead a talented offensive crew, which can get goals from a number of attackers. Ava Hughes has held down the fort in goal all season.

The Spartans’ defense makes a stop against Padua. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

The aforementioned Spartans were 9-5 in 2022, with all five losses coming against teams that reached the postseason. Three of them — Tatnall, Archmere and Newark Charter — are in Division II, while Wilmington Charter and Padua are in Division I. They also defeated Padua this season. Their game at Sussex Academy is scheduled for Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.

The Spartans are prolific goal scorers who feature Riley Fleetwood, Katie Hanich and Brynn Eyler, among others. Jenna League had an outstanding season in goal.

Delmar is once again the top seed in Division II. The Wildcats have not lost since Oct. 2, 2016.

Taylor Kozink of Padua swats a Saint Mark’s scoring attempt to the side. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

Finally, Padua is in the Division I tournament as the fourth seed. The Pandas, who finished 8-7 against one of the tougher schedules in the state, will take on fifth-seeded Caesar Rodney at Tower Hill on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.

The Pandas have wins over Wilmington Charter and Saint Mark’s, and they also played Smyrna, Cape Henlopen, Archmere and Delmar. Offensively, they are led by Ava Getty, Maddie Mosier and Kelsey Clauss, while Taylor Kozink established herself in goal as a sophomore.

The winner between Padua and Caesar Rodney will play No. 1 Cape Henlopen in the semifinal round on Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. at the University of Delaware. Cape has won every Division I title since the sport split into two divisions in 2017 and 10 of the last 11.

Tickets for all postseason events are available online only at www.gofan.co/app/school/DIAA. Field hockey and soccer tickets will be available beginning Nov. 7 at 7 a.m.

Brackets are below.