SMYRNA — Its season nearly over, the Sussex Tech girls’ soccer team could have been somber waiting out a two-hour weather delay in the Division I state tournament semifinals.
Instead, the Ravens, who were trailing top-seeded Padua 4-0 when the teams were pulled from the Smyrna High field Wednesday evening, reminded coach Carlos Villa why he will miss them moving forward.
Cooped up in the locker room waiting for a decision on whether or not the remaining 19:17 would get played, No. 4 Sussex Tech entertained itself with games and reminisced about the journey back to the semifinals.
“We were playing charades, talking about memories in there, what just happened during the last hour and a half was a pleasure,” Villa said. “That’s the quality of kids we’re dealing with.”
With lightning and heavy rain in the area, the game never was resumed. It was ruled official with Padua winning 4-0 to advance to Monday’s championship game.
The second Division I semifinal, between Caesar Rodney and Appoquinimink, was postponed. It will now be played on Friday at Smyrna at 5 p.m.
The Division II state championship game, between Indian River and Caravel, will be played on Monday at 5 p.m. at Smyrna. The Division finals will follow, at about 7 p.m. at Smyrna.
On Wednesday, against a Ravens defense that packed itself tightly back near its own goal, Padua (16-0-1) broke through for its first score 16 minutes into the contest. Sophomore Arryana Daniels got an assist from junior Mackenzie Scully to produce the goal.
The Pandas added two more goals before halftime, including Daniels’ second, which came on a 30-yard lob that bounced out of Sussex Tech keeper Leslie Fazio’s grasp and into the net to make it 3-0.
Scully netted the final Padua goal in the game’s 52nd minute and not long after the thunder began clapping, leading to the lengthy delay.
Although disappointed for his seniors — Michelle Laz, Kelsey Stevenson and Fazio — Villa said he was proud of his Ravens, who finished the year 13-4.
“This has been a phenomenal season,” Villa said. “I’m so proud of these girls, the effort they gave and how they improved. I will never forget this season. It’s been beyond a pleasure to coach these girls.”
Sussex County Post sports editor Jeff Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 629-5505.