Athletics

St. Mark's cruises past Tower Hill

WILMINGTON -- Caitlin Myers and Stephanie Rinschler spent most of the second half of their playoff soccer Saturday afternoon in the most unusual place -- on the bench, relaxed, cheering on their second-string teammates.

It's a rare luxury when a team can rest most of its starters this far into the postseason.

But thanks to two goals each by Myers and Rinschler, the top-seeded St. Mark's girls soccer team cruised into the semifinals by downing ninth-seeded Tower Hill 6-2 at Tower Hill in the Delaware High School Girls Soccer Tournament quarterfinals.

"We ended up getting our whole team in, which is good experience for them," said Myers, a junior. "The starters did what they had to do and second string did what they had to do, too."

Kim Dwyer and Marisa Mueller scored the first two goals and Myers put the Spartans up 3-0 in the 26th minute.

The decisive win set up a semifinal showdown between St. Mark's and fourth-seeded Charter of Wilmington, and gave the Spartans a boost of confidence in their pursuit of a state title.

A young, on-the-rise Tower Hill squad that battled injuries all season had trouble handling the offensive pressure St. Mark's applied in the first half. At one point, Hillers coach Gary Chandler moved a player from his backline to forward and left his squad with just two defenders with hopes of padding his offensive attack.

They had some opportunities in that span but couldn't get past St. Mark's goalkeeper Katie Rogers, who made five saves.

"Just couldn't convert," Chandler said. "Had we maybe got something in there to cut it to 2-1, who knows? But we just couldn't last with two in the back on a hot day like [Saturday] forever."

Not until the 62nd minute did Tower Hill score its first goal when freshman midfielder Gracie Firestone scored. Freshman forward Christina Freibott added another late in the game.

Tower Hill 0 2 -- 2

St. Mark's 5 1 -- 6

First half-Dwyer, SM, 7:00; Mueller (Swain), SM, 10:00; Myers (Ganc), SM, 26:00; Rinschler, SM, 37:00; Rinschler, SM, 40:00.

Second half-Myers (Rinschler), SM, 45:00; Firestone (Griffith), TH, 62:00; Freibott (Griffith), TH, 80:00.

Shots-SM 28, TH 9. Saves-SM 7 (Rogers 5/French 2), C 13 (Kelly).

by Geoff Mosher, The News Journal
Reprinted with permission of The News Journal

Contact Geoff Mosher at gemosher@delawareonline.com.



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