Lake Forest falls to Delaware Military Academy 2-1 in soccer tourney

 

 

BEAR — The Lake Forest High girls’ soccer team was inches away from completing a two-goal comeback.

But in the end, the 12th-seeded Spartans fell one goal short of No. 5 Delaware Military Academy, falling 2-1 on a rainy Saturday at Caravel Academy in the first round of the DIAA state tournament.

Delaware Military scored an early goal in each the first and second halves for a 2-0 lead. Lake Forest cut the advantage in half with 35 minutes left but couldn’t find an equalizer.

The Spartans nearly tied it with 23 minutes remaining after Hannah Fox created some space for an open shot from 18 yards out. Her effort clipped the top of the crossbar to skim over the goal.

“I’m proud of them I can’t say more than that,” said Lake Forest coach Pietro Randazzo. “I thought the girls played really well. They never gave up, they kept pressing and pressing until the end but it just wasn’t our day.”

Senior Alyssa Santore netted the lone goal for the Spartans who ended the year at 8-8 overall.

She converted a penalty kick less than a minute after the Seahawks doubled their lead.

While Fox’s shot was the Spartans’ best chance after Santore’s goal, they had several more looks at goal. DMA nearly gave the Spartans an own goal when a Seahawk defender deflected a cross just over the top of the net on a header. Lake Forest had two shots knocked out before they were able to get through to the goalie in the final 10 minutes.

And with the rainy conditions, any ball played into the penalty area was a cause for concern for the Seahawks.

“They started playing long balls and with this wet field anything can happen,” said DMA coach Wayne Cox. “All the credit to Lake Forest, they had opportunities but my defense stood tall like they have all year.”

With the win, Delaware Military improved to 12-3-1 overall. The Seahawks will play the fourth seed, Newark Charter, on either Wednesday or Thursday night at a time and place yet to be determined.

Delaware Military was led by goals from Michaela Kelly and Vanessa Keir. Keir’s goal, which turned out to be the eventual game-winner, came less than five minutes into the second half.

Kelly started the scoring by knocking a low cross into the bottom corner of the net in the game’s eighth minute.

“It was huge,” Cox said of the early goal. “Hats off to Lake, they played a good game, they were aggressive and they pushed the game. It’s always good when you get a goal first, it settles the nerves and that helped us a lot.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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