Middletown girls soccer poases with the state championship trophy after beating Appo 1 0. Photo courtesy of Middletown Athletics

Riley’s early goal lifts Cavaliers to soccer state title

Joe SinglesHeadlines, Sports

Middletown girls soccer poases with the state championship trophy after beating Appo 1 0. Photo courtesy of Middletown Athletics

The Division I girls soccer championship was played this afternoon at Cape Henlopen High School between cross town rivals Middletown Cavaliers and the Appoquinimink Jaguars.

The Cavalier squad came into the contest touting a 17-0 record while the Jaguars had an impressive season as well with a 13-2-1 record. 

On an afternoon that would make the weather in Southern California jealous, Gabby Riley, the U of D recruit and probable player of the year, made her presence felt early.

Three minutes into the contest Riley found herself at the edge of the 18-yard box with just the Jaguar keeper to beat.

Keeping her composure, she chipped the ball over top of a charging Emerson Brooks for the first and only goal of the first half. The Jaguar squad secured a number of corner kicks but no legitimate scoring chances. 

Different half same story in the 2nd as the Jaguars inability to maintain possession haunted them throughout the half. The Cavaliers continued to dominate the middle of the field forcing the opposing team’s midfield to play the ball backwards only to see it booted forward right back to the Cavalier defense keeping the Jaguars on their heels for most of the 40 minutes.¬†

Cavalier forwards Lily Holcroft and Flannery Grimm did an excellent job of keeping the Jaguar defenders on their guard when the ball was played up to them, giving their team time to make runs and then distribute the ball to teammates down the sidelines. 

Gabby Riley’s goal proved to be the game winner despite being scored in the first 3 minutes of the game, capping off an undefeated season for the Middletown Cavaliers and giving them the 2024 Division 1 girls soccer state championship.

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