Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Jester's second half shot that hit the crossbar, taken by James Jones.
NEWARK, Del. - - Concordia's second half goal proved to be the difference in a battle of the top two teams in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference standings, dropping the Wilmington University men's soccer team, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
In a tail of two halves, the Wildcats (9-3-1, 5-2-1 CACC) carried the momentum throughout the first half but couldn't find the back of the net. The Clippers (9-4, 8-2 CACC) swung the momentum in the opposite direction in the second half, with the difference being a goal in the 58th minute.
The Wildcats had ample opportunities in the first half, starting with their first shot of the game off a set piece and the left foot of Geoff Velasquez. His low shot snuck through the defense, but a last second stab by the Clipper goalkeeper kept the ball out of the net.
Sam Jester had a chance in close in the 13th minute, but his shot to the near post on the left side was saved as well. Juan Bernal couldn't place a ball off a set piece any better into the upper left corner, but the Clipper netminder Jaime Gonzalez sprawled to once again keep the ball out of the net in the 35th minute.
Out of the halftime break, the Clippers put the first eight shots on the board but it was the team's fifth shot that only mattered. A Clipper set piece from just outside the 18-yard box was blocked, but the loose ball caromed right in front of the Wildcats goalmouth. Concordia was able to control the loose ball and CACC leading point getter Ovan Oakley found the back of the net at the 57:12 mark.
The Wildcats kept battling and had an excellent chance to tie the match with 22 minutes to play. Trying to play the ball back to his keeper, a Clipper defender whiffed on the pass, allowing Lorne Bickley to be in free on the keeper. But Gonzalez stuffed Bickley's low attempt on the breakaway, keeping the game at 1-0.
Jester had another opportunity form the left side, but his shot in the 78th minute hit the top half of the crossbar and remained in the play. The ball was cleared over the endline for a corner, but the ensuing corner was cleared of harm.
Concordia ended up out shooting the Wildcats, 14-11, in large part of a 10-3 advantage in the second half. Vinny Tasca made seven saves for the Wildcats while Gonzalez also made seven saves for the Clippers.
The Wildcats will look to get back into the win column when they return to the field on Tuesday. They head to Philadelphia on Wednesday for another CACC game starting at 3:00 p.m.