Home Local Sports Salesianum School blanks Caravel Academy in battle of defending soccer state champions:...

Salesianum School blanks Caravel Academy in battle of defending soccer state champions: Photo gallery

Tyler Cifa of the Sals and the Bucs' Aidan Alston track a ball along the sideline. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

WILMINGTON — Salesianum’s soccer team played its first Delaware opponent of the season on Sept. 16, battling Caravel under the lights at Abessinio Stadium in a battle between the two defending state champions. The Sals scored one goal early and another late in a 2-0 win.

The Sals controlled possession much of the night, but the Buccaneers were determined to keep this one close. Caravel produced the first shot of the night on a free kick in the second minute, but it was unsuccessful, and the Sals would answer a minute later.

Daniel Matthews snuck into the 18-yard box behind the defense, and Aiden Gonzalez found him with a nice crossing pass. Matthews’ shot deflected off the gloves of goalkeeper Alejandro Marte and in for the 1-0 lead.

Marte was very solid in net. He had little chance on the goal, and afterward he stopped several saves and disrupted a one-on-one opportunity for Salesianum with a sliding tackle.

Caravel’s best stretch of sustained pressure came about 25 minutes into the first half. The Bucs forced Sals goalkeeper Andrew Scott to make a spectacular stop, and they sent a header wide on a corner kick in the 27th. In the final two minutes of the half, Caravel had three corners in succession. On the second, a shot whistled just wide of the net, glancing off a Salesianum player on the way, resulting in the third corner.

As the second half progressed, the Sals gained and kept possession of the ball for long stretches. Marte made another highlight-reel stop in the 52nd minute, and he added several more stops.

The Bucs’ best opportunity to tie came in the 57th. Finlay Lum chased down a ball down the right side. He made his way around a Sals defender and was one-on-one with Scott. Another Sals defender raced back and caused enough of a distraction that Lum had to hurry his shot just a big, and it sailed wide left.

Sean Duffy added an insurance goal in the 65th minute. He was fouled inside the 18-yard box, earning a penalty kick, which he sent high to the keeper’s right.

The Sals outshot Caravel, 10-5, and had a 5-4 edge in penalty corners. Scott made five saves. Salesianum (3-0) hosts Wilmington Charter on Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the final installment of a season-opening home stand.

Marte finished with 10 saves. The Buccaneers (2-1) are home on Sept. 19 at 6:15 p.m. against St. Andrew’s.

All photos by Jason Winchell.