Cummings scores twice as Rider girls edge Charter

CAMDEN — Caesar Rodney High doubled down on the left foot of Aleya Cummings on Friday night.

Cummings scored two goals, the second almost a carbon copy of the first, to help the Riders’ girls’ soccer team rally for a 2-1 victory over Wilmington Charter in a nonconference contest.

“She’s got a great shot,” said CR coach Darrell Gravatt. “She’s very, very dangerous. When she gets half a turn, she can score. She’s got a lot of skill.”

When the Riders fell behind 1-0, Cummings equalized when she brought a ball down on the right side of the penalty area. She put it on her left foot and curved it inside the far post in the 29th minute.

In the 54th, the senior again received the ball in virtually the same spot and used the same move to score. She struck the ball with her left, giving it enough bend and dip to get over the goalie, but still fall inside the post and the crossbar.

“I knew that I couldn’t dribble through them since they have a really good defense so I figured I should try to curve it around the goalie,” Cummings said.

Caesar Rodney (5-1) out-shot Charter 13-4 in the game, but it was the Force who went ahead 1-0 in the game’s 25th minute.

Charter’s Sam Peters took advantage of a free kick in a dangerous spot and steered her effort into the bottom corner.

“We had a lot of chances in the first half,” Gravatt said. “It was frustrating, ending the half 1-1, but I felt like we played real well. I was real pleased with the girls’ level of play. We just tried to do the same things in the second half, I felt like we were going to break through.”

And the Riders did break through thanks to Cummings four minutes later.

“We were definitely out-playing them and they scored first so I was frustrated,” she said. “After that first goal, our energy picked up and we just kept going.”

Cummings had hit the post once, on another left-footed shot, earlier in the first half.

Charter had one final chance to get a second goal in stoppage time of the second half. The Force were awarded a free kick deep into CR territory, but the shot hit CR’s four-person wall and was soon cleared before the final whistle blew.

The two teams tied last season, 1-1, while in 2014 Charter won the regular season matchup before the Riders came back to win 2-1 in the state tournament semifinals.

“They’re almost always close games,” Gravatt said. “They’re very tough competitors and these games are always a lot of fun.”

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