Caravel puts away CR early

CAMDEN — It’s not like the Caesar Rodney High girls’ soccer team is going to have to face Caravel again this season.

Still, the Riders wanted to prove themselves against the perennial Division II state power.

Unfortunately for CR, the Buccaneers were head and shoulders better than them on Friday afternoon.

The unbeaten Buccaneers netted four first-half goals — including three on headers off corner kicks — to upend the Riders, 4-1.

CR (9-3) had won two of its last three meetings with Caravel (10-0).

Riders’ coach Darrell Gravatt said it was pretty obvious what his team needs to work on.

“They were certainly a lot better on set pieces — a ton better,” he said. “I think we’ve got to do better than that. It’s going to be tough on us if we can’t be better than that on set pieces.

“It’s one game. We got crushed on corner kicks defensively. Hats off to them. They’re a good team. … But we’re not going to beat a lot of teams if we give up four.”

CR actually owned a 1-0 lead when senior Jessie Prillaman scored five minutes into the contest. It was the first goal that Caravel and its standout goalie, Sydney Keld, has allowed all season.

But the Bucs tied the contest five minutes later before taking the lead for good one minute after that. All four Caravel goals came in a 28-minute span.

Sophomore Gabriella Marte scored the first goal before assisting on the next three.

Prillaman said the Riders know that defending corner kicks has been an issue this season.

“It was definitely a tough loss,” she said. “That’s just something we’ve got to work on — the headers. The positive side of this is it shows what we’ve need to work on going into the state tournament.”

Keld collected nine saves as the Bucs finished with advantages of 17-10 in shots and 6-1 in corner kicks. Morgan Desaulniers made 13 saves for CR.

The play was much more even in the scoreless second half. The best scoring chance came when Prillaman hit the crossbar with 20 minutes left.

The Riders still have some big regular-season games remaining. They host Cape Henlopen on May 14 in a showdown that will probably decide the Henlopen Northern Division crown.

Gravatt hopes Friday’s loss got his players’ attention.

“I think it will wake us up,” he said. “We’ll play better. It’s one game so I don’t want to make more of it than what it is. But we had one glaring weakness and they took advantage of it.”

Sports editor Andy Walter
can be reached at 741-8227

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