DOVER, Del. — Late heroics decided both DIAA girls soccer state championship finals at Delaware State University last Friday.
In the earlier game of the double-header, University of Delaware-bound Maddie Schepers broke a 1-1 tie in the second half with a goal off an assist from Emma Manley to lead the Spartans to the Division 2 title. It was title No. 6 for the Wilmington school but the first since Delaware split into two divisions. St. Mark’s won titles in 2008 and four straight years from 2000-2003.
Lily Phillips opened the scoring for the Spartans but Caravel Academy tied it up on a goal from Reese Mushinski off a chipped ball from Alaina Alston.
The second-game of the night to decide the Division 1 final was a high-octane offensive affair with four combined goals in the first half but in the end it came down to goalkeeping and spot kicking as Padua Academy walked away winners in a penalty shootout.
UNC-bound senior Madelyn Galbus opened the scoring early in the first half for Padua but Middletown quickly responded on a put back from Emma Minzer and took the lead shortly thereafter on a goal from Cara Cimo. Galbus struck again with a rocketed shot to tie things at 2-2 going into the break. Senior Haley Dougherty assisted on both first half goals.
Maddie Moser off a third Dougherty assist made it 3-2 Padua but Rhiannon Bosco capitalized on a mistake to tie things up on an empty net goal and after two scoreless overtime periods the game went to kicks. Padua keeper Claire Campbell and Middletown keeper Ava Ripanti each made a pair of saves in the shootout but an earlier miss by Middletown opened the door for Moser to hit the title-winning PK to end it.
The two state champions are the first crowned high school champions in the area for 2022. Delaware will crown a boys champion in the fall while boys and girls championships will be contested in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.