MILLTOWN – St. Mark’s girls soccer team battled reigning Division II state champion Delaware Military Academy well into the second half on April 16. Two goals in a seven-minute span, however, lifted the Seahawks to a 3-1 win.
Alexis Wenner of DMA connected with her first goal of the season in the 16th minute to open the scoring. It stayed that way for 20 minutes, until the Spartans’ Maddie Schepers caught up to a loose ball with two steps on the Seahawks’ defense. She went up an over Seahawks goalkeeper Emily McKenna and did not miss, tying the contest at 1-1. It was her 17th goal of the season.
Schepers had nearly hit the equalizer several minutes before that, but her shot clanged off the crossbar above McKenna, who replaced an injured Madison Lemanski midway through the first. The Spartans also had chances on a couple of corner kicks but could not convert.
Alyssa Ruggeri broke the tie in the 57th minute. She took a pass from Gabrielle Ziegler and had a clear path toward Spartans keeper Serena Pluta. Her shot was too high for Pluta to nab. It was Ruggeri’s eighth goal. Ruggeri returned the favor to Ziegler in the 64th minute on the insurance marker.
The Seahawks finished with a 16-5 shot advantage, and they had five corner kicks to the Spartans’ three. Lemanski had four saves. DMA (4-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and returns to the pitch on Thursday against Red Lion at Kirkwood Soccer Club at 3:45 p.m.
For St. Mark’s, Pluta finished with 13 saves, including a one-on-one stoning of Ruggeri late in the first half. The Spartans (4-3) will have to wait to try to end their two-game losing streak. They are off until April 29, when they visit Ursuline at 3:45 p.m.