WILMINGTON — On an emotional night, the Salesianum soccer team focused its energy on the task at hand. The Sals controlled possession nearly all night and left Abessinio Stadium on Nov. 28 with a 5-0 win over Saint Mark’s.
Salesianum honored its seniors on a frigid night, but one of them was not in attendance. Kyle Dietrich was absent after his mother, Jill, died unexpectedly the previous day. Jill Dietrich’s passing touched the Saint Mark’s community as well; she was a 1989 graduate of the school.
The Sals got right to work, with Ethan Hinds and Jake Ross hooking up in the first minute of the game for an opportunity. Ross took a pass from Hinds and sent a shot just wide of the Spartans’ net. Hinds took his own shot a few minutes later, but Saint Mark’s goalkeeper Andrew Wenger stoned him from point-blank range.
The Sals’ pair would join forces again in the ninth minute, this time getting the goal. Ross chased down a pass on the left sideline and passed to Hinds in front of the net. A Spartans defender got a piece of the ball, but Hinds recovered and drilled a shot into the far side of the net.
Hinds connected again in the 15th. Tanner Brentlinger passed to William McDermott in traffic, and McDermott squeezed the ball a few yards into the 18-yard box, where Hinds was all alone in front of Wenger. He stopped and lined up the shot, curling one into the left side of the net.
Callaghan Walsh set up the Sals’ third goal with a beautiful through ball to Markos Duey in the 29th minute. Duey took the pass between two defenders in strike, and his shot from mere yards in front of the net was lifted just enough to elude a sliding Dan Otlowski and go in.
The Spartans had two excellent opportunities late in the first half as they tried to cut the deficit. On the first, a free kick from Dan Otlowski from 49 yards out was headed inside the box, but Sallies keeper Sam Donnelly made a sparkling diving save to his right. Less than a minute passed before the second chance. Chase Beck intercepted a Salesianum outlet pass and a teammate pushed the ball in Donnelly’s direction. A third Spartan got to the ball a split second ahead of the keeper, but Donnelly was able to make a sliding stop of the shot.
Hinds completed the hat trick in the 52nd minute with a shot that deflected off a defender. Nicholas O’Haire scored the Sals’ final goal on a sharp-angle shot.
Salesianum finished with a 16-4 shot advantage, along with a 6-1 edge in corner kicks. Donnelly had two saves, while Zach Bittner played the second half and picked up one save. The Sals are now 7-1 with two games remaining. The next one is Tuesday night against Friends at Abessinio Stadium.
Wenger had nine saves for the Spartans. Saint Mark’s (5-3-1) travels to Glasgow for a Saturday morning matchup beginning at 11.