Home Local Sports National soccer power St. Benedict’s Prep shuts out Salesianum: Photo gallery

National soccer power St. Benedict’s Prep shuts out Salesianum: Photo gallery

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The Sals make a play in the 18-yard box on a free kick. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — Salesianum welcomed longtime opponent St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark, N.J., to its new home, Abessinio Stadium, for the first time on Oct. 2. The Gray Bees, ranked first or second in the country by various sources, took an instant liking to the place, scoring twice in the first 18 minutes on their way to a 5-0 win.

The schools have forged a partnership on and off the field over the years, but once the whistle blew it was all business on the field turf. A steal by the Gray Bees in the fifth minute nearly paid off, but Belmar Joseph sent a shot over the net.

The Sals had their best chance of the first half a few minutes later as Jake Ross stole a Gray Bees pass, dribbled down the left side and sent a left-footed shot toward goalkeeper Marcilio Soares with a defender draped all over him. Soares came out and went low to reject the offering.

St. Benedict’s kept up its relentless defensive pressure, and it paid off in the 14th minute. Ransford Gyan stole a pass, worked his way in and sent a left-footed laser past Sals keeper Zach Bittner and into the far left side of the net.

Four minutes later, the Gray Bees struck again. They showed off some serious passing skills with a give and go down the right sideline, followed by a cross that was tapped in by Joseph.

The margin stayed at two goals until the 29th minute. The Gray Bees caught up to a Salesianum back pass, and an attacker sent the ball short side past Bittner.

St. Benedict’s pressured the Salesianum back line all evening, keeping the Sals from setting up on offense. The Sals had two quality chances in the second half, but Soares was there. On one play, in the 63rd minute, Reese Peddrick found some space up the middle and fired a shot that seemed ticketed for the top of the net. Instead, Soares threw up his hands and knocked the ball over the net and out of bounds.

In the 72nd, the Sals had a chance on a loose ball about 15 yards from the net. Soares and a Salesianum player raced toward the ball, with the Sallies player winning the race, but Soares went into a slide and smothered his attempt.

The Gray Bees added two second-half goals.

St. Benedict’s finished with a 14-3 shot advantage and had six corner kicks to the Sals’ two. Soares had two saves. For the Sals, Bittner was credited with eight saves. Salesianum (5-2) travels to Saint Mark’s on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. start.

All photos by Mike Lang.