WILMINGTON — Saint Mark’s and Delaware Military Academy are both ranked in Delaware Live’s top 10 in Division II boys soccer, and the teams did not disappoint in their Sept. 13 matchup at Fusco Field. They needed overtime, and in the 88th minute, Dan Otlowski scored on a free kick to lift the third-ranked Spartans to a 2-1 victory.
The best chances of the first half belonged to the Spartans, but they could not get anything past Seahawks goalkeeper Brett Wolhar. He made several impressive saves as Saint Mark’s aggressive style led to chance after chance.
No. 10 DMA had a free kick from about 28 yards out in the 45th, but it went wide and was cleared. After that, the Spartans took the play to the Seahawks. A free kick in the 49th went off the football crossbar, and three minutes later Charles Manelski crossed to Brendan Walsh, but his shot was stopped by Wolhar. The Spartans earned consecutive corner kicks in the 56th, only to see a Seahawks defender make a stop on the second one.
Delaware Military slowed the Saint Mark’s attack after that, and they took advantage of a chance in the 67th. Geovanny Hallo collected a loose ball near the sideline about 40 yards from the goal. His pass went diagonally through the 18-yard box, and teammate Sean Bogan was there to tap the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
That advantage did not last. Before the applause had subsided, Saint Mark’s was on the move. On the restart, Otlowski sent the ball downfield toward Daniel Shannon, who beat Wolhar to the ball and chipped it over his head and into the net.
Saint Mark’s had two free kicks and a corner kick in the final 10 minutes, but they could not score, and the contest went to a 10-minute sudden-death extra period.
It was the Seahawks who threatened first. In the 85th minute, Declan Kirby took a free kick from 31 yards out. Spartans keeper Ryan Betts made a lunging stop, and a shot off the rebound that smacked the crossbar would not have counted because of an offsides call.
Otlowski lined up for the eventual game-winner some 20 yards in front of the DMA net. He kept his shot along the turf to the right of the Seahawks’ wall and through the legs of a teammate in front of Wolhar, who had no chance as the ball rolled into the corner of the net.
The Spartans had a 14-7 shot advantage, and they earned five corner kicks to the Seahawks’ two. Betts made six saves. Saint Mark’s (2-0) visits A.I. DuPont on Saturday at 11 a.m. before finally playing a home game.
Wolhar was very solid for DMA, making several diving stops in the first half and stoning the Spartans’ Jude Rykaczewski one-on-one. He finished with 12 saves. Delaware Military (1-1) plays the third of four consecutive home matches to open the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. against the Phelps School (Pa.).
All photos by Mike Lang.