WILMINGTON — Padua took one more step toward a DIAA Division I girls state soccer championship with a 4-0 semifinal-round victory over Wilmington Charter on May 25 at Abessinio Stadium in Wilmington. The Pandas will defend their title on June 1 against Smyrna.
The top-seeded Pandas’ multiple weapons were on display against the Force, as four different players found the net. No. 4 Charter had the first best opportunity to score, but a shot went over the crossbar of the football goalpost a few minutes in.
Padua was certain to make that an aberration. They controlled the ball for most of the remainder of the first half, and when the Force did get possession, the Pandas’ defense closed off any path toward goalkeeper Colleen McClintock. After a dozen minutes, the Pandas broke the scoreless tie.
The first goal went to sophomore Maddie Mosier, who took a pass from Skylar Salvo and moved in on Force keeper Emma Brown. Mosier faked a pass to teammate Brieana Hallo, then fired a shot to the short side just inside the post for the 1-0 lead.
Hallo missed just wide a few minutes later, but the senior got hers in the 19th minute. She curled a corner kick over Brown and into the net for the 2-0 advantage. Padua had another corner in the 24th, and this time, Hallo sent her inbounds kick off the crossbar before Brown was able to clear.
Sophia Marini was next up for the Pandas. She sent an unreachable laser from 25 yards into the right side upper 90. Brown had a few stops as the half progressed to keep the score 3-0.
The Force came out with some determination in the second half, with McClintock called on to make her best save in the 43rd minute. McClintock made another stop shortly thereafter.
The final goal of the afternoon came in the 57th minute. Sophia Holgado drilled a shot high into the net. That came after Anna Poehlmann intercepted a Charter pass and sent it the other way to Holgado.
Final statistics were not available late Tuesday night. The Pandas (16-1) will play for their third consecutive Division I championship on June 1 at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden-Wyoming, with the start time to be announced. Their opponents, Smyrna, the third seed, defeated No. 2 Appoquinimink, 2-1, on Tuesday. The Eagles will be making their first appearance in the championship game.
Charter finished the season at 12-5.
All photos by Mike Lang.