(Oct. 25, 2019) The Worcester Prep boys’ soccer team went into double overtime twice this week with the Delmarva Christian Royals.

The first game ended in a 2-2 tie and the second, the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference semifinals, was won by Worcester, 2-1.

The Mallards traveled to Georgetown, Delaware on Monday to battle the Royals.

Senior captain Alec Burbage scored in the first half for Worcester. At halftime, the game was tied, 1-1.

Senior captain Ryan Cronin tallied Worcester’s second goal in the second half. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 2-2. After two 10-minute overtimes, the match ended in a tie.

Worcester went back to Georgetown on Wednesday for the ESIAC semifinals.

Prep Coach Jon Adkins said the team came in with a different strategy from Monday’s game.

The game was scoreless at halftime.

“The first half was pretty even,” Adkins said. “Delmarva Christian is a good team with talented players so we knew it was going to be a dogfight, and because we just tied them.”

About two minutes into the second half, senior Max Taylor had a breakaway and put the ball past the Delmarva Christian goalkeeper.

With about two minutes remaining, the Royals scored and the game went into overtime.

Neither team was able to put the ball in the net in the first 10-minute extra period.

With about six minutes left in the second overtime, Worcester was awarded a corner kick.

Burbage took the kick and Cronin headed it into the goal to give the Mallards the victory.

“They played extremely well. It was a hard-fought game,” Adkins said. “It was very exciting. The boys were thrilled.

“They never gave up. I’m extremely proud of them. I can’t say that enough,” he added.

After Cronin scored, his teammates ran over to hug him and celebrate their victory.

“Ryan has been our clutch guy all season. We rely on him and he really stepped up,” Adkins said.

Freshman Jack Gardner played in goal for the Mallards. He made eight saves.

“We made some adjustments. We changed the way we were trying to attack their defense and moved guys around,” Adkins said. “It was all about adjustments today, for both teams. It was like a chess match. We changed things up once we saw what the other team was doing.”

Worcester will host the Salisbury School Dragons today, Friday, at 3:30 p.m. in Berlin for the ESIAC title.

Salisbury won the Sept. 11 matchup with Worcester, 2-0, in Salisbury.

The game on Oct. 8 in Berlin ended in a 2-2 tie.

“I feel like we’re playing our best soccer,” he said. “We need to bring the same intensity [as we did against Delmarva Christian], we need to finish our chances and keep up the great defense.”

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