WILMINGTON — Ursuline had several chances to break the ice in its soccer game at Tower Hill on April 16, but only Madeleine LaFond was able to find the back of the net. That, however, was enough to nudge the Raiders to a 1-0 victory at DeGroat Field on the Tower Hill campus.
The Raiders escaped three Hillers chances early in the second half, including a 40-yard free kick by Ally Valentine that skipped in on Raiders goalkeeper Hannah Kelley. After that, the Ursuline offense picked up its pressure.
In the 49th minute, LaFond sent a pass to Jessica Kulenguskey, but her shot was just wide. Four minutes later, Isabella Lindia blew through the Tower defense and sent a shot that was deflected over the end line by Hillers keeper Sofie Aird. The resulting corner kick was not successful, but the Raiders kept knocking.
Lindia was stopped at point-blank range by Aird in the 54th. In the 58th, the Raiders’ work paid off. The earned another corner, and Samantha Hurd lofted the ball toward the box. It fell into a gaggle of players and was sent by Meg Macauley to LaFond, who had open space in front of her and did not miss.
The Raiders had opportunities to add an insurance goal throughout the remainder of the game, but the Hillers kept them off the board. Their best chances came on a free kick in the 75th minute that was just wide, and in the closing seconds, Aird reached up with her right hand, deflecting a shot over the net for a spectacular save.
The scoreless first half saw both teams get chances to score. The Hillers’ Caitlin Smith tested Kelley in the first minute, and the Raiders also had a few chances. Kulenguskey knocked a crossing pass just wide in the 23rd, and Anna Querey nearly beat Aird two minutes later. The keeper stoned Macauley on a shot blast, and she deflected another one over the end line shortly thereafter, giving the Raiders their first corner kick.
Ursuline had an 11-4 shot advantage, and they had five corner kicks to the Hillers’ one. Kelley had four saves. The Raiders (4-1) travel to St. Andrew’s on Monday for a 3:45 p.m. start.
Aird finished with 10 saves for Tower. The Hillers fell to 2-2 and meet St. Elizabeth on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Alapocas Run State Park.
All photos by Jason Winchell.