The Polytech girls soccer squad improved to 6-1 on the season Thursday afternoon when they defeated Delcastle 2-1.
Jessica Rutkoski opened the scoring for the Panthers at 13:00 in the first half to give Polytech a 1-0 lead. After some cautious defensive play from Delcastle, the score remained 1-0 at the end of the first half.
In the second, it was more of the same until an own goal at 64:00 gave Polytech a commanding 2-0 lead. Delcastle would climb to within one just a minute later on a penalty kick but goal-keeper Amanda Deputy would close the door the rest of the way to preserve the win.
Thursday’s win is a big one for the Lady Panthers after having suffered their first defeat of the season last week, an ugly 7-0 loss to Caesar Rodney.
The Panthers had started the season off with 5 consecutive wins, outscoring their opponents 25-2, before the loss to CR.
Bouncing back against Delcastle in a close game away from home was a big step for this Panthers team.
At the first sign of adversity, they responded, which speaks volumes of the senior leadership and the overall focus coming from the squad as a whole.
Now, nearly half-way through the season Polytech finds them leading the way within the Henlopen South Division. Currently, Indian River sits in second-place with a record of 4-3. And in the entire Henlopen Conference the Panthers are behind only Sussex Tech (7-1), whom they defeated 3-2 and Caesar Rodney (9-0).
Polytech now heads into the most important part of their schedule, with all 8 games remaining against conference or divisional opponents.
After match ups with conference foes Sussex Central and Dover this week, 4 of their remaining 5 games are against divisional opponents including a date with second-place IR next Tuesday.
The Panthers are surely off to a great start, and now they have the rest of their schedule to show they not only belong in the discussion within their division but the conference as well.
Polytech is back in action on Thursday when they travel south to take on the Sussex Central Golden Knights (4-4).