Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo following Clifford Nwechefom's first goal by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - For only the second time in program history, the Wilmington University men's soccer team claimed the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Regular Season Championship, clinching the title with a 5-0 shutout over crosstown rival Goldey-Beacom on Tuesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The difference came in the first eight minutes of the contest, as the 22nd ranked Wildcats (12-2, 9-1 CACC) scored three quick goals to air the air out of the Lightning (5-11, 3-7 CACC). The Wildcats added a fourth goal in the first half before capping the scoring in the 58th minute.
The win secures at least a share of the CACC Regular Season Championship but clinched the top seed in the upcoming CACC Tournament as Post couldn't currently catch the Wildcats with three games to play, but the Wildcats hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles for the top seed. If the Wildcats win or tie either of their last two CACC games, they will be the outright CACC Regular Season Champions.
The last time the Wildcats clinched the CACC Regular Season Championship was during the record breaking 2009 season as the Wildcats finished 11-0 in the CACC and 19-3-1 overall.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats were led by leading scorer Clifford Nwechefom as he scored a hat trick to give him 14 goals on the season. The eventual game-winner came just 4:10 into the contest, as he finished off a scramble in the box following a corner.
Kristofer Michael made it 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats with a low knuckling blast from 20 yards out, finishing off a great run from Geoff Velasquez down the left side just 6:33 into the contest.
Nwechefom was at it again just shy of the eight minute mark of the game, as Josh Fawssett brought the ball down with his chest and touched it with the outside of his foot into the box to allow Nwechefom to be in on the goalkeeper. Nwechefom slotted it home for his second of the contest just 7:56 into the game.
Jamie Burridge finished off a beautiful setup from Velasquez and Berry on the left die in the 22nd minute, getting on the end of a cross from Berry on the far post to make it 4-0 in the first half.
After the halftime break, continued to put the pressure on the Lightning breaking through once again in the 58th minute. Juan Bernal had the ball in the middle of the field with space and flicked the ball up and over the back line of the Lightning. Nwechefom raced onto the ball at the top of the box, giving himself another one-on-one with the Goldey-Beacom goalkeeper. Clifford slotted it home for the hat trick and his 14th of the season.
Nwechefom now has six game-winners on the season, tying him with the nation's leaders from Millersville and Saginaw Valley State.
The Wildcats' Vinny Tasca made four saves for his first career shutout as a Wildcat.
Wilmington heads to Shippensburg for its final nonconference contest of the regular season on Thursday. The matchup against the Red Raiders is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start.