Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Joe Woodley and head coach Nick Papanicolas by James Jones.
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - - A depleted Wilmington University men's soccer team saw its season come to an end in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament on Saturday, as the East Region's second seed and host LIU Post defeated the sixth seeded Wildcats, 6-0, at the Pioneer Soccer Park.
The Wildcats (15-6) reached the second round for the third time in program history, winning their second ever NCAA Tournament contest on Thursday. The team also reached the second round in 2009 (received a first round bye) and in 2013.
The injury bug caught up with the Wildcats in the first half, as the team had three starters go down and needed to be substituted out on Saturday. Clifford Nwechefom was helped off in the 15th minute, Geoff Velazquez went down in the 20th minute, and Lance Berry was substituted in the 29th minute.
LIU Post (15-2-2) took advantage of the Wildcats' misfortune, scoring a pair of first half goals to take a 2-0 lead into the break. The Pioneers scored in the 23rd minute and again in the 29th minute on a penalty kick.
The Pioneers outshot the Wildcats, 9-1, in the first half, and earned more corners, 7-0, scoring the game's first goal off a corner kick.
LIU Post added to its lead with goals in the 61st and 71st minutes and continued to carry the momentum as the Wildcats went down a man on a red card in the 74th minute. The Pioneers added an insurance goal in the 77th minute and capped the scoring in the 84th minute on another penalty kick, following another red card and dismissal on the Wildcats.
The Pioneers outshot the Wildcats, 23-5, in the match, putting 12 shots on goal. Senior Frank Hall made six saves in goal for the Wildcats.
LIU Post advances to the East Regional Finals on Thursday and will face nationally No. 3 Southern New Hampshire in Charleston, W.Va.