The Sussex Academy boys’ soccer program is off and flying following a 3-1 victory over 2022 Division I semifinalist Appoquinimink Sept. 7 in Georgetown. Sophomore striker George Sapna netted a hat trick to help secure the win
“You’ve been preparing for three-and-a-half weeks for the moment and you’re hoping the boys understand their roles,” said Seahawks coach R.J. Dina. “They came out, they performed, they played physical, they pressed when they needed to and finished the chances with hard work.”
The aggressiveness was noticeable across the pitch for the Seahawks, but Sapna’s efforts resulted in three balls finding the back of the net. The first goal came in the first half in the 24th minute. Fellow sophomore Liam Stegall fired a free kick on goal, but the goalie failed to secure it. Sapna rushed into the box and gained possession of the loose ball, dribbling it in for the first goal.
“I was just hoping once he dropped it I didn’t miss,” Sapna said.
The Seahawks continued to press and look for runs on the counterattack in the second half. Senior Andree Mendoza-Martinez was able to link up with Sapna in the 50th minute on one of the counters, resulting in Sapna’s second goal.
Senior Ethan Boladas would find Sapna in the final third 11 minutes later. Sapna buried the shot. This led to a jubilant celebration in which Sapna made his way over to the Seahawks faithful to let them know he had just netted his third. His joyous teammates joined him, and with 19 minutes left to go, the Seahawks were in control. It was also Sapna’s first hat trick.
“It was electric. There were so many people out, and hearing that every goal was just great,” Sapna said.
Appoquinimink scored on a penalty kick as the ball inched past junior C.J. Norton’s outstretched arm. Norton tallied six saves on the night, including a shot from point blank he had to make while on the carpet.
“I told the boys it feels great to get the result, but you can never get too high on the highs or too low on the lows, and tomorrow is another day,” Dina said.
Sussex Academy will travel to Sussex Central to face the Golden Knights Tuesday, Sept. 12, before welcoming the Laurel Bulldogs Thursday, Sept. 14. Both games start at 5:30 p.m.