PIKE CREEK — Archmere’s Andrew Rosenbaum converted a penalty kick in the 68th minute to lead the Auks to a 1-0 win over Conrad in Diamond State Athletic Conference boys soccer action Oct. 19 at Midway Softball Complex. The win clinched the conference title for the Auks, who are 6-0 in the DSAC with one conference tilt remaining.
It was a hard-fought game, and both teams had scoring opportunities, although neither could capitalize. The Auks controlled the pace and possession through much of the second half, and that finally paid off.
Sam Gattuso accepted a pass along the right side deep in Red Wolves territory. He had a step on the Conrad defender, and as Gattuso stepped into the penalty box, he was brought down. The referee immediately pointed to the center of the box, and Rosenbaum stepped up to take the kick. Red Wolves keeper Nathan Marsh guessed left, and the kick was low and straight ahead to give Archmere the lead.
Conrad turned up the heat after the goal. A corner kick in the 73rd minute was cleared. A minute later, Diego Figueroa got a step behind the Auks’ defense and approached keeper Niko Triantafillou. The defense recovered in time to disrupt the shot.
The Red Wolves had one more corner opportunity in the 76th, but the Auks headed the ball out of harm’s way. Francisco Turcios-Ramos got free in the box right after that, but the Archmere defense erased any open space. With less than a minute on the clock, Conrad’s Johan Silvestre dribbled into the 18-yard box to the right of Triantafillou when he was knocked down after colliding with a defender. There was no foul called, and the final whistle blew seconds later.
That was not the only close call for the Red Wolves. They started early, as Aleksandar Sirakov fed Dmitri Warner 15 yards in front of Triantafillou. The keeper was equal to the challenge, stoning Warner from point-blank range. Triantafillou kept the game scoreless in the 38th, punching a Red Wolves free kick over the crossbar.
The Auks’ best chances to score came in the first 15 minutes of the second half when they sent three shots over the head of Walsh and out of play. They also had five corner kicks in the span of four minutes around the 60-minute mark but could not connect.
The Auks finished with eight corners to Conrad’s five, and they outshot their opponent, 8-4. Archmere (11-1) plays at Sanford on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. in its final road game of the regular season.
The Red Wolves (8-4) play Dickinson on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at A.I. DuPont High School.