DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - - Playing its third nationally ranked opponent in its fifth game of the year, the Wilmington University women's soccer team hung right with No. 8 Mercy, but dropped a close decision, 2-1, on Wednesday afternoon at Mercy Field.
The Wildcats (1-4) tied the game in the 75th minute, but the mavericks (2-1) responded with a goal less than three minutes later, which proved to be the deciding factor. The Mavericks out-shot the Wildcats, 19-8, but the Wildcats were neck-and-neck in shots on goal, only trailing, 8-5, for the match.
The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first half, and both teams posted three shots on goal. The Wildcats' best chance came in the 42nd minute, as Jessica Unsihuay's shot was cleared off the line by the Mavericks' defense.
The Mavericks struck first out of the break, getting the opportunity on a penalty kick in the 66th minute. A Wildcat foul in the box resulted in Caludia McKail's first goal of the season and the 1-0 lead. The mavericks kept the pressure on in the ensuing moments, hitting the crossbar and getting a rebound opportunity that sailed high in the 70th minute.
The Wildcats answered in the 75th minute, however, as Daryan Fennal scored her first collegiate career goal, knotting the game at 1-1. Rebecca Dolhansky played the ball across and Fennal was there was the one-touch goal 74:35 into the match.
But Mercy turned up the heat after the goal, as they answered less than three minutes later on a counter attack, scoring 77:30 into the match for the 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats only mustered one shot after that, as Unsihuay had it blocked off a corner in the 81st minute.
Wilmington earned more corners, 7-5, in the match, but couldn't get one of the set pieces late in the game to work to tie the game. Kate Tubo made five saves in the match for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play with their next two games, as they head to Felician on Saturday for a night game. The opening whistle is set for 5:30 p.m.