The Charter Force girls’ soccer team took the first step toward returning to the state championship game on Wednesday, defeating Smyrna in the opening round of the DIAA State Tournament, 5-0.
The Force, who went undefeated at 14-0 during the season were never really threatened by the No. 8 seeded Smyrna Eagles.
At the start, the Force did their best to impose their will on the Lady Eagles dominating the possession aside from some Smyrna clears to the center of the field.
Charter would strike first in the tenth minute of the first half when senior Natalie Rinschler scored the first of her three goals on the night to give the Force a 1-0 lead. Just minutes later, Paige DiGuglielmo found the back of the net to put the Force up 2-0.
Rinschler would strike one more time for the Force before the half and Charter took a commanding 3-0 lead into the break.
Taylor Mitchell opened the scoring in the second half for the Force before Rinschler completed the hat-trick in the 54th minute to seal the victory for Charter.
The Force, who fell to the two-time defending champions Padua by penalty kicks in last year’s final will now move onto to face the winner of Thursday’s Caesar Rodney/A.I. duPont game in the semifinals Wednesday.
For Smyrna, who finished their season at 10-6 it’s a bittersweet ending to a successful season.