Home Local Sports Salesianum wraps up soccer regular season with 2-1 win over Wilmington Charter:...

Salesianum wraps up soccer regular season with 2-1 win over Wilmington Charter: Photo gallery

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The Sals' Paolo Magat and Wilmington Charter's Benjamin Chen do battle. Dialog photo/Jason Winchell

HOCKESSIN — Salesianum put on a mighty offensive show in its boys soccer showdown Nov. 1 against Wilmington Charter, but they managed to get just a pair past Force goalkeeper Ryan Terranova. That, however, was enough, as the Sals ended their regular season with a 2-1 win.

The Sals looked comfortable at Hockessin Soccer Club, where they played their home games before the completion of Abessinio Stadium. After an early save by Sallies keeper Zach Bittner, they earned two corner kicks, although neither connected. They kept the pressure on, getting Terranova off his line a few minutes later. He made a huge save, then got back into position to stop a follow-up offering.

Sals striker Jake Ross was next up, taking a free kick from about 25 yards out, ticketing the ball for the upper 90 to the keeper’s right. Terranova had other ideas, leaping for the stop. An interception led to a chance for Tyler Cifa, but he was stoned by Terranova.

The Force turned the tide for a bit, forcing Bittner to make a stop on a chip shot. They followed with a 50-yard free kick that Bittner caught in the air.

Terranova was at it again shortly thereafter, rejecting Ross from mere yards away. Ross was stopped one more time on the Sals’ next trip downfield, but Aiden Gonzalez picked up the loose ball in close and deposited it into the net for the 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.

Charter took advantage of one of its few offensive opportunities to level the score with about 90 seconds remaining before the half. Michael Capretto stationed himself near the top of the 6-yard box, took a crossing pass, and deflected the ball over Bittner.

The Force evened out the play in the second half, getting an early corner kick that did not pay dividends. Terranova beat Ross to the ball in the opening minutes, heading the ball away from the Sals’ top scorer. As the half moved along, Bittner was called upon to stop several Force free kicks, including one from about 20 yards out from a sharp angle to his right.

Salesianum, meanwhile, was unable to capitalize on a pair of corner kicks, but they nearly took the lead midway through the second half. This time, Ross headed the ball over Terranova and gathered the loose ball in traffic, but his shot rang off the left post. Terranova was able to cover the rebound.

After a few more near-misses — and with overtime on the horizon — Ross finally broke through in the 72nd minute. A minute after sending a shot just over the crossbar, he took a long through ball from Fianluca Marroni, fought off a defender and shot to the far side of the net while taking a bump. The ball found the net for the 2-1 lead.

Bittner had to make one more big save before the whistle blew, and the Sals had their victory.

The Sals outshot the Force, 9-4, and had a 4-2 edge in corners. Bittner had three saves. Salesianum finished the regular season 13-2, with just one in-state loss.

Terranova had six saves for the Force, who finish their regular season on Thursday at Middletown at 4 p.m.

Bot the Sals and the Force will find out their postseason seeding and schedule when the DIAA boys soccer committee meets on Friday morning.

All photos by Jason Winchell.