Padua was able to win their third straight consecutive girls division one soccer state championship with a 2-1 victory over Smyrna.
The Pandas struck first with just over 5 minutes off the clock in the first quarter. Brieanna Hallo would corral a pass from Sydni Wright about 20 yards away from the goal. She made a quick move with the left foot, took a step right and blasted a shot past the Smyrna goalie Sofia Lerro.
Smyrna answered right back against the mighty Panda’s with a goal of their own in the 2nd quarter tying the game at 1-1. Karalyn Osborne would send a pass into the middle of the field to Mackenzie Martin as she dribbled in about 5 yards then launched a shot from 30 yards out depositing it in the net over the outstretched arms of Padua’s goalie Colleen McClintock.
The two teams would remain tied at 1-1 until the 78th minute of the game. Padua would switch fields moving the ball from left to right, when Wright sent a pass down the right side of the field deep in the Smyrna zone. Haley Dougherty from Padua centered a pass off the second bounce perfectly setting up Anna Poehlmann in front of the net as she knocked the ball in with her knee past Lerro for the game winning goal.
Padua finishes off the season with a 14-1 record defending their state championship from 2019. Padua has won 7 of the last 8 state championships dating back to 2012. This was the first state championship for Matthew Sturdivant as the new coach for Padua. As for Smyrna it would be their first girls soccer final in school history.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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