A season removed from falling to Middletown in the championship game, this year’s No. 1 seed, Padua Academy, reclaimed the DIAA Division I Girls Soccer State Championship after a 5-1 victory over No. 2 Caesar Rodney on Friday night at Caravel Academy.
The Lady Riders came into the game fired up and it showed early on. CR’s offense was aggressive, forcing an early corner before Laynee Ford deflected home the first goal of the night in the third minute to give CR a 1-0 lead.
While the field would shift a bit after CR’s opening goal, their lead stood nearing halftime. However, in the 40th minute, Rachel Simpson scored on a deflection to put the Pandas on the board, tying the game at 1-1.
Padua wasn’t done yet as the momentum continued to swing; during stoppage time of the first half, Olivia Bocchetti knocked home a goal set up by Erin Apostolico to give the Pandas a 2-1 advantage heading into the halftime break.
In the second half Padua picked up where they left off in the first, striking just minutes into the half to go up 3-1 thanks to an Briena Halo free kick.
Ashlee Brentlinger added a penalty kick goal in the 66th minute before Halo deposited her second goal of the night giving Padua an overwhelming 5-1 lead, which they’d hold until the final whistle.