Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Juan Bernal's first goal of the game taken by James Jones.
NEWARK, Del. - - A fast start allowed the Wilmington University men's soccer team to cruise to a 6-2 victory over the District of Columbia on Wednesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Following a 90-minute delay to the start of the game, the Wildcats (2-0) jumped all over the Firebirds (0-3), scoring in the third and 13th minutes to control the game. Despite only outshooting the Firebirds, 10-8, in the first half, the Wildcats were able to tack on two late goals as well to head into the halftime break leading, 4-0.
Newcomer Sam Jester recorded his first goal as a Wildcat just 2:55 into the match, getting a slotted ball down the middle from Jamie Burridge for the quick 1-0 lead. Less than 10 minutes later, Manuel Ruiz-Luque played a ball across the goalmouth from the left end line, finding the foot of Juan Bernal for the 2-0 lead just 12:36 into the match.
Bernal was at it again in the 41st minute, getting on the end of a beautiful run and touch pass. Off of a goal kick, Lorne Bickley made a run down the left side and got all the way to the end line. His pass to the six-yard box and continued on by Daniel McDonald-Taylor to an open Bernal on the back post.
Bickley continued to work and was on the scoring end of play to close out the first half, receiving the pay-out from the work of Dimitris Topouzlis. This time Topouzlis worked him way into the box and to the end line on the left side, flicking it up and over the drawn out keeper and right to the foot Bickley on the six.
The Firebirds tried to get back into the game to start he second half, coming out strong and even putting a goal on the board in the 48th minute. But the Wildcats stemmed the tide and again increased the lead. Deron Joe played an excellent cross with the outside of his right foot and Burridge was able to beat the Firebird goalkeeper to the ball at the top of the box. Burridge slotted the ball home in the 53rd minute for the 5-1 lead.
Bickley made it a day for himself in the 72nd minute, heading home a free kick from Bernal from the left sideline. Both Bernal and Bickley finished with two goals and an assist in the contest.
The Wildcats have the upcoming weekend off and will return to action when they open the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule on September 13. The Wildcats will host Chestnut Hill at the WU Athletics Complex with a 4:00 p.m. start.