BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - - The Wilmington University men's soccer team outshot the United Soccer Coaches Division II Nationally Ranked No. 7 LIU Pioneers, but the home team found the back of the net late to seal a 1-0 decision at Pioneer Soccer Park on Tuesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (4-3-2 overall) were up to the task against the nation's seventh ranked team (ranked second in the USC East Region Poll), but it was a goal in the 76th minute that stole a decision away from the Wildcats.
The visitors outshot the Pioneers (6-0-1), 14-9, including a 6-5 advantage on shots on goal, but it was Johann Kristjansson's strike 75:45 into the match that proved to be the difference. He took a feed at the top of the box, beat his defender and drew Wilmington's Vinny Tasca away from the goal line before finding the back of the net.
The second half saw the Wildcats put more pressure on the Pioneers, but to no avail. Romario Squire put a shot on frame in the 56th minute, but Oliver Hessner Hansen was there for the stop. Lorne Bickley had a chance off a free kick in the 63rd minute, but his header was once again stopped by Hessner Hansen. Fredrik Bentdal and Manuel Ruiz Luque also put shots on goal late in the second half, but could not beat Hessner Hansen. Bentdal's last-ditch effort in the 87th minute was stopped as well. Ruiz Luque got a shot off in the final 47 seconds, but his chance sailed high over the frame.
Tasca made four saves in goal for the Wildcats while Hessner Hansen stopped six shots for the shutout victory.
The Wildcats' nonconference tour continues on Thursday as they head to the always tough NYIT Bears on Thursday afternoon. The game in Old Westbury, N.Y. is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. first whistle.