NEWARK, Del. - - It took over 99 minutes but the Wilmington University men's soccer team finally broke through and secured a 1-0 victory over the District of Columbia on Saturday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (2-0) controlled possession for the majority of the contest, and held an 8-0 lead in shots at the halftime break. But the team had trouble finding the final touch, as UDC (1-1) held strong on the back line. Joe Bell finally broke through in the 100th minute, heading home a corner from Ben Jordan to spark the celebration.
Lorne Bickley had back-to-back shots saved early in the contest become newcomer Vegard Pernes put a shot on frame that was denied in the 37th minute. The Wildcats and Firebirds went into the break knotted at 0-0.
The Firebirds came out of the break and had two chances early in the second half, but both shots sailed wide of the net. Lorne Bickley sent a header in on frame in the 70th minute, but Firebird goalkeeper Javier Abadia made the diving save.
UDC got a shot off in the overtime period, but it was the Wildcats that had the final say. Fredrik Bentdal's shot was deflected out of bounds, setting up the game-winning corner as the clock ticked under a minute in the first overtime period. Ben Jordan sent a ball to the middle of the box, deflected off Abdul Mansaray and found Joe Bell on the back post for the redirection into the back of the net.
Joe Bell, a center back, last scored on September 10, 2017 against Felician as a sophomore.
The Wildcats led the Firebirds in shots, 13-5, and corners taken, 6-2. Gabriel Prgomet made one save in goal for his first career shutout as a Wildcat.
The Wildcats remain at home for their next contest, as they welcome West Chester to the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday afternoon. The opening whistle is set for 4:00 p.m.