Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy of James Jones.
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - - The Wilmington University men's soccer team took an early lead but nationally ranked No. 18 LIU Post came back to defeat the Wildcats, 2-1, in overtime on Wednesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (3-1) took their lead into the halftime break, but the Pioneers (3-1-1) came back to score midway through the second, and then scored the game winner in the eighth minute of the first overtime period to seal the comeback.
The Pioneers were also ranked third in the latest NSCAA East Regional Rankings, just ahead of the Wildcats to set the stage for the big east region matchup on Wednesday.
The Wildcats struck first in the contest, breaking the ice in the 33rd minute on a strike from Clifford Nwechefom from atop the 18-yard box. Following a scramble in the box, Adrian Tash poked the ball loose to Nwechefom who scored his third of the season 32:33 into the game.
The Pioneers led the Wildcats, 5-4, in shots and 5-2 in corners, but the Wildcats held the 1-0 lead going into the break.
The Pioneers responded midway through the second half, earning a corner kick as an initial shot was blocked and went out of bounds. Johan Kristjansson headed home the corner from Matias Ruiz, tying the game, 1-1, 62:23 into the match.
Each goalkeeper was called upon to make one save in the remainder of regulation, but the Wildcats outshot the Pioneers, 3-1, in the final 27:37 of regulation.
The Wildcats produced the first two shots of the overtime period, but Joe Boulter missed high before Nwechefom put his shot high in the 95th minute.
That opened the window for the Pioneers, as they came down the field and was able to find the back of the net with their first shot of the extra period. Following a Wilmington foul, Ruiz put a ball toward Per Forgaard who headed it home past Wildcat netminder Vinny Tasca for the game winner 97:02 into the match.
Tasca made one save in his collegiate debut for the Wildcats while Jesper Malmstrom recorded three saves for the Pioneers.
The Wildcats return to the WU Athletics Complex and to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference for their next contest when they welcome Felcian to Newark on Saturday. The men are the second half of the CACC doubleheader with the start scheduled for approximately 2:30 p.m.