MILLTOWN — Matt Capretto continued a fine season for Wilmington Charter, scoring the first two of the Force’s goals in a 3-0 win at Saint Mark’s on Oct. 26. Charter represented the latest challenge for the Spartans, who have contested one of the state’s strongest schedules this season.
The Force entered the afternoon ranked third in the state in Division I by Delaware Live Sports, while Saint Mark’s was Division II’s No. 3 team. It took the Force just four minutes to get on the board, but this one turned into a closely contested affair.
Both goalkeepers — Ryan Betts for Saint Mark’s and Ryan Terranova for the Force — turned away quality chances as the first half moved along. Charter got chances out of a few Spartans turnovers, but Betts kept the margin at a single goal until the 26th minute.
On this occasion, a steal by Charter began a counter-attack, with Aiden Shorter taking a through ball down toward Betts’ right. Shorter sent a crossing pass into the 18-yard box, where Capretto took possession with lots of open space in front of him. His shot into the upper 90 made it 2-0.
The Force nearly added one more in the 35th, but a shot rang off the crossbar, and Charter could not control the loose ball.
The Spartans came close in the 43rd minute off a corner kick. After an initial stop by Charter and with the goalkeeper off his line, the Spartans had a good look. The ball, however, rolled through a rough patch near the top of the 6-yard box and hopped up, hitting a Spartan in the hand and eliciting a whistle from the referee.
Betts made his first one-on-one save against Capretto in the 48th, but the Spartans struggled to get anything going offensively. They sent a shot in on new goalkeeper Benjamin Richmond from a sharp angle in the 53rd, sent a header off a corner kick over the net in the 62nd, and went just wide in the 74th.
Benjamin Chen added the game’s final goal in the 75th, beating Betts through traffic from close proximity.
Charter had a 12-7 shot advantage, and they took one more corner kick than their opponent, 7-6. Terranova and Richmond combined for 7 saves. The Force (11-1) will face Salesianum on Tuesday at Hockessin Soccer Club at 3:30 p.m.
For the Spartans, Betts had eight saves, several of which were noteworthy. Saint Mark’s fell to 10-3 and continues its three-match homestand to finish the regular season under the lights at the Graveyard on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against McKean.
All photos by Mike Lang.