Riders fall 2-0 to Appoquinimink in boys’ soccer

Caesar Rodney’s Rocky Edmund dribbles against Appoquinimink.
Delaware State News/Ben Heck

CAMDEN – It didn’t take long for Appoquinimink High to grab the early momentum Tuesday night.

In the fifth minute, junior forward Cody Niggebrugge scored a goal on a corner kick attempt to give the Jaguars the quick advantage.

The Jaguars used that momentum to cruise to a 2-0 nonconference boys’ soccer shutout win over Caesar Rodney High.

“We have a few plays we do for corners and our senior, Dominic Scioli, ran it to perfection,” said Appo coach Adam Bear. “We got the goal early and it really changed the game for us. We got confident and then, obviously, they’re on their heels for the rest of the game.”

The shutout extends Appo’s win streak against CR to four consecutive games – which includes the state tournament the previous two seasons. The streak dates back to a 5-1 Appo regular season win on Oct. 3, 2017.

CR’s title run last season ended with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Jaguars in the DIAA Div. I semifinals.

Appoquinimink (2-0-1) only outshot the Riders, 13-11, and attempted three corner kicks to CR’s one.

The Riders’ offensive attack created scoring opportunities throughout the first half but was unable to capitalize on those chances when they needed them.

“The game was ebb and flow, back and forth, very evenly played,” said CR coach Darrell Gravatt. “We had several chances, so did they, but they finished their chances and we did not. It was a well-played game, but if you don’t score, you can’t win.”

Caesar Rodney (3-2) hasn’t been shutout in more than a calendar year, with the team’s last zero-goal game coming against Charter School of Wilmington Sept. 8, 2018. The Riders will look to bounce back at home against Polytech High Thursday.

Niggebrugge finished with one goal and one assist while junior forward Hindovei Tucker scored the other goal for Appo.

Senior Cole Schlee made seven saves in goal for the Jaguars. It’s just the third game back for Schlee after missing his entire junior year a season ago.

“It’s great, because last year he missed the entire year – he has a metal rod in his chest, so he missed an entire year for us,” said Bear. “Now, he’s back for his senior year, he won the starting role and he played really well today. That’s his best game for us since his sophomore season.”

Junior Zander Omans registered eight saves for the Riders.

“CR’s goalie, he’s a stud, so we were happy to get two on him,” said Bear.

With the 1-0 edge at the halftime break, Appo extended the lead with Tucker’s goal off a Niggebrugge assist in the 43rd minute to put the game out of reach.

Defensively, Gravatt was impressed with what his goalkeeper and back line were able to do against Appo’s offensive attack despite what the scoreboard read at the end of the night.

 “It was a very organized back line and keeper,” he said. “We’re real pleased. We can’t win every game, but I still feel like we played well. They’re a very tough team and maybe we’ll see them again.”

“Caesar Rodney’s a great team, they always are,” said Bear. “We always go at it, so I’m sure we’ll see them again later. It always happens.”

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