Video Recap at bottom of page
NEWARK, Del. - - Two goals separated by fewer than two minutes was all the Wilmington University men's soccer team needed to defeat the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference leading Georgian Court, 2-0, on Wednesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
In what was expected to be a tightly contested contest between two teams atop the CACC standings and in the latest United Soccer Coaches East Region Poll released Tuesday, the play on the field did not disappoint. Georgian Court (12-3, 8-2 CACC) is ranked fourth in the East Region while the Wildcats (10-1-4, 7-1-2 CACC) moved up to seventh this week.
The Wildcats had the only chances in the first half, as they out shot the Lions, 5-1. Fredrik Bentdal had a pair of good looks that trickled by the right post and Tom Garratt nearly put the Wildcat ahead but his shot hit the right post and stayed in play in the 28th minute. Will Stone also had a shot in the waning seconds of the half barely go over the cross bar.
Wilmington's Vinny Tasca made two saves 15 minutes into the second half, but was rarely tested before the Wildcats finally broke through.
A deflected ball found its way into the box for the Wildcats, and Sam Jester was first to get a foot on it. The ball hopped up and struck a Lion defender's hand, prompting a penalty kick in the 69th minute. Tom Garratt buried the opportunity for his 10th goal of the year and the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats kept the pressure on, putting back-to-back shots on frame in the next minute, but Will Stone's was saved and Edward Slueue's rebound attempt was headed away by a defender before reaching the goal line. But it didn't take long for the Wildcats to find the back of the net again, as they converted on the ensuing corner kick.
Bentdal's low corner went all the way to the back post where Joe Bell one-timed a volley back across the box. That found a charging Will Stone as he one-timed the shot into the back of the net and the Wildcats lead increased to 2-0 in a matter of 1:07 elapsed game time.
Tasca kept the shutout in line by sliding back across the face of the goalmouth to make a stop off a corner in the 84th minute. The Lions thought they had a penalty kick of their own moments later, but was determined to be a simulation by the attacker and called the other way.
It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Wildcats, as Tasca made four stops to extend his program record out to 16 career shutouts.
The Wildcats closed the gap between the Lions atop the CACC, but Georgian Court still holds a one-point advantage with two games to play. The Wildcats head to Dominican on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. start.