MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s boys soccer team found itself in a dogfight for the third straight match when the Spartans met Newark Charter on Sept. 29, and for the third straight time, they came out on the winning end of a one-goal decision.
This time, the Spartans — ranked fifth in the latest Delaware Live/302Sports Division II top 10 — took it to the end. Daniel Otlowski scored in the 77th minute, breaking a scoreless tie as Saint Mark’s defeated the No. 2 Patriots, 1-0.
After three comfortable victories to open the season, Saint Mark’s has lived on the edge since. The Spartans needed two second-half goals to overcome Brandywine, 2-1, before defeating Archmere on the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute last weekend.
Before Otlowski broke through and got one past Patriots goalkeeper Caelin Campbell, the game had been a physical, back-and-forth affair that had a little bit of everything except scoring. In the second half in particular, the Spartans were knocking on the door for a while.
They cam out of the half on the attack, and a free kick in the 41st minute from a sharp angle to the left of Campbell was headed a few times before going over the net. In the 49th, Campbell stymied a Saint Mark’s chance by getting to a through ball a whisker ahead of the attacking Spartan.
After a few shots that went just wide, the Spartans earned a corner kick in the 55th minute. That, however, turned into a chance for Newark Charter as #21NCS picked up a loose ball and went about 60 yards the other way before the play was broken up.
Otlowski nearly connected in the 64th. The Spartans stole a throw-in deep in the Patriots’ end. Otlowski fired a shot from 35 yards out that was just wide to the left. A minute later, a Spartans free kick into traffic in front of the net was caught by Campbell.
The best opportunity in the first half came in the 22nd minute. A Spartans throw-in resulted in a long pass from Otlowski to Chase Beck, whose shot was stopped by a diving Campbell.
The Spartans outshot the Patriots, 6-2, although Newark Charter had a 3-2 edge on corner kicks. Andrew Wenger was credited with two saves in the team’s fourth clean sheet of the year. The Spartans (6-0) host Conrad on Friday at 3:45 p.m.
Campbell had five saves for the Patriots, who are now 3-1-1. They are at home on Saturday at 11 a.m. against Wilmington Friends.
All photos by Mike Lang.