Villar goal all Seahawks need in 1-0 win over CR

Players from Delaware Futbol Academy all over Sussex Academy campus for game
October 23, 2023

The level of play in soccer in Sussex and Kent counties has increased quite a bit over the last few years thanks in large part to the expansion of youth clubs. Two of the better high school teams in Delaware, Sussex Academy and Caesar Rodney, benefit greatly from the youth commitment.

A rising Seahawks team narrowly defeated the Riders 1-0 for Club Night and highlighted Delaware Futbol Academy Oct. 19. The club has representation on both teams and hundreds of players competing in younger age groups. The Seahawks’ game against the Riders gave Delaware Futbol Academy players a chance to see what a varsity game is like in Delaware.

“I’ve coached a lot of these players. I know a lot of these guys. This is a high-intense environment, and guys come to battle,” said Sussex Academy coach R.J. Dina.

Intense is the only word to appropriately describe the action between the Seahawks and Riders. 

“We’ve talked for years now about discipline and keeping [emotions] under control, even in the toughest moments with things you disagree with. You can see how emotions get the best of players in matches,” Dina said.

Battles took place in the midfield, particularly in the first half. The physicality of the matchup led to yellow cards for both teams. The defensive backline for each team adapted well to the tightly called match.

“When the game is like that, you just got to keep your head cool,” said Sussex Academy junior Aiden Villar. “They’re going to be doing long balls, and we’re going to be doing kind of the same thing. It’s pretty much a mental battle in the long run. You just need to keep your cool.” 

Keeping his cool paid off for Villar early in the second half. Sussex Academy’s work led to a couple of near misses, but in the 47th minute, Villar received a pass from Andree Mendoza-Martinez. He unleashed a rocket that made its way through a crowd of players and into the top left corner of the goal. 

“I’m just glad I can score another goal to show my team I am here to play,” Villar said.

As the action continued, the intensity picked up – as well as the bookings – and the Seahawks found themselves protecting a one-goal advantage. Junior C.J. Norton and the Seahawks’ backline stepped up with outstanding efforts to answer the call over and over.

The Seahawks held on, securing the win and a clean sheet.

Prior to the victory, Sussex Academy wrapped up the Henlopen South title and secured a spot in the Henlopen Conference Championship. As it stands, the opponent will be Sussex Central, but the Golden Knights still need to play Dover and Cape Henlopen. Central has one loss, while Dover and Cape each have two in conference play.

Sussex Academy will host Woodbridge at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24, for Senior Night. 


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