Home Local Sports It takes overtime, but Archmere wins boys soccer home opener vs. MOT...

It takes overtime, but Archmere wins boys soccer home opener vs. MOT Charter: Photo gallery

The Auks celebrate an early goal by Mark Chua (center) during a September game against MOT Charter. The Auks are the seventh seed in the Divison II state tournament. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

CLAYMONT — Archmere tied its boys soccer game against MOT Charter at 2-2 early in the second half, but, despite dominating possession, the Auks would need extra time to escape the Mustangs with a 3-2 golden-goal victory on Sept. 13.

MOT Charter, which made a run to the semifinals of the DIAA Division II state tournament last season, took a one-goal lead into halftime, but Ben Meredith equalized in the 50th minute. Meredith and Mustangs goalkeeper Anthony Nittoly raced for a loose ball high up in the 18-yard box, and Meredith won the race by half a step. He was able to chip the ball behind Nittoly.

It was virtually all Archmere after that, with the Auks sending several shots high or wide. But Nittoly was the principal reason the match remained tied. He made a diving save in the 64th, and he added another stop on one of three successive Archmere corner kicks.

The Auks were applying great pressure while playing with a man advantage after a red card on an MOT player, and in the final two minutes, a Mustangs defender was called for a handball in the penalty box, giving Archmere a penalty kick. But Nittoly came up with his best work of the afternoon, diving low to his left to reject the offer, and the game went to overtime.

All of the opportunities in the extra session belonged to the Auks, and that finally paid off in the 89th minute. Meredith took a pass at the top of the box and tapped it left to Jason Lotkowski. The sophomore sent the ball waist-high to Nittoly’s left, and this time the keeper would not be able to make the stop.

The start of the game belonged to MOT Charter, who took a lead just four minutes in. The Mustangs forced several Auks turnovers, and a steal by Jonathan Daniel and feed to Afrim Amoah-Mensah resulted in a goal to the far left side of the net. Archmere tied in the 21st when Mark Chua took a cross from Weston Gansler and hit the lower 90 to the right.

Daniel restored the Mustangs’ lead in the final seconds of the half, driving along the end line to the left of the goal, then tucking a sharp-angle shot between Trantafillou and the post.

The Auks outshot the Mustangs, 16-7, and had a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Niko Triantafillou made five saves, including a quick punch of a Mustangs blast late in regulation. Archmere (2-0) plays the second of six straight at home on Friday against Sanford at 3:45 p.m.

Nittoly had 13 saves for the Mustangs, who are 0-1. They visit Tower Hill on Saturday at 11 a.m.

All photos by Mike Lang.