CLAYMONT – Salesianum celebrated Halloween at Archmere by pulling a few tricks out of their bag and treating their fans to a 5-0 shutout at Archmere. The Sals put on an impressive show as they demonstrated why they are favored to win their ninth straight state championship.
Sallies put on the pressure from the start, keeping the ball in the offensive zone for most of the first half. A shot in the fourth minute was headed wide, and Auks keeper Niko Triantafillou made a diving stop in the sixth. Triantafillou knocked the ball away from an attacker three minutes later, but on the ensuing opportunity, the Sals’ Ben Strine was tackled inside the 18-yard box.
Strine was awarded a penalty kick, and he sent the ball low to the left to give Sallies a 1-0 lead.
The Auks had a decent shot once play restarted. They sent the ball downfield, but their shot went high.
Casey Kurlej of Salesianum was stopped on a half-volley shortly thereafter, and Triantafillou got him again in the 14th. The Auks had a shot on a free kick that was caught by Sals keeper Emmett McCloskey, and another free kick resulted in their best chance to get on the board. That one was headed by Schatzman, but McCloskey was there for the stop.
The Sals’ relentless pressure paid off in the 34th minute. This time, Kurlej sent a laser from the edge of the 18-yard box into the upper 90 on the far side of the net.
The Sals finished with 15 shots to Archmere’s two, and eight corner kicks, while the Auks did not have any. Sallies ended the regular season 13-2. They will find out their seed and opponent in the Division I tournament at some point this weekend.
The Auks lost for the first time since their season opener against the state’s other top-ranked team, Division II leader Caravel. They also finished at 13-2 and await their seed in the Division II tournament. Archmere is guaranteed a bid as a result of winning the Diamond State Athletic Conference championship.