BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — St. Elizabeth’s girls soccer team battled in its game at Brandywine on April 26, but the Bulldogs had too much firepower. They scored the final seven goals of the game and went on to an 8-1 win on Senior Night in north Wilmington.
Brandywine was on the offensive from the start, pressuring the Vikings’ defense. Freshman Rachel Bockrath sent a shot wide in the first three minutes, and Brandywine earned the first of its seven corner kicks. But St. Elizabeth’s defense bent but did not break,
Finally, the Bulldogs found an opening in the ninth minute. Bockrath drove down the left side of the field and sent a left-footed shot to the short side of Vikings keeper Alyssa Pope for the 1-0 lead.
St. E’s tied the game in the 11th minute. Riley Eckhardt sent a long through ball ahead to Ellie Rock, who barely stayed onside. Rock dribbled through two defenders and got Bulldogs keeper Carolyn Zelenski off her line, then hit the open net.
The Vikings held off the Bulldogs’ attack for several minutes, including a pair of corner kicks, before the Brandywine offense began to finish. Mairin Hamilton drilled a free kick from the edge of the 18-yard box by the Vikings’ wall and low into the net for the 2-1 advantage.
The rest of the half brought a variety of opportunities for Brandywine. Bockrath sent a shot just over the net, then Pope stoned Bockrath from close range. Another shot rang off the crossbar. The Bulldogs did score off a corner kick to extend the lead to 3-1,with Keira Oppenheimer getting the goal. Pope kept it that way with a stellar save on another corner.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on in the second half, and Pope stood on her head rejecting several shots. Finally, Elyse Hunt connected on a third-chance opportunity, and Grace Duch sent a laser just under the crossbar two minutes later.
Duch and Hamilton each added a second goal, and Jenna Roper also scored for the Bulldogs. They finished with 20 shots to five for St. Elizabeth, along with a 7-0 edge in corner kicks. Zelenski had four saves in goal. Brandywine (7-1) is home against McKean on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Pope finished with 12 saves for the Vikings, who fell to 2-8. They meet Saint Mark’s on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Alapocas Run State Park.
All photos by Jason Winchell.