Video recap at bottom of page.
Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo following Bernal's first goal, taken by Taren Cooper.
NEWARK, Del. - - The offense continues to click on all cylinders for the Wilmington University men's soccer team, as it opens Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action with a 5-0 victory over Chestnut Hill on Tuesday at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 CACC) have now scored 14 goals in their first three games of the 2016 season, averaging 4.67 goals a game. Of the 14 goals, 10 have come in the first half so far this season.
The early scoring continued on Tuesday, as the Wildcats scored four in the first half to command the game. The CACC Player of the Week also remained red hot for the Wildcats, as Juan Bernal tallied two more goals against the Griffins (0-4, 0-2 CACC).
Bernal started the scoring in the 16th minute, finishing off a nice touch pass by Jamie Burridge into the box. Bernal went far post from the left side, banking it in off the post for the early 1-0 lead. Newcomer Sam Jester finished home a corner kick opportunity in the 25th minute, getting a head on the end of an in-swinging corner from Fredrik Bentdal at the near post.
Junior Alex Luke etched his name into the scoring column later in the first half, beating the Chestnut Hill goalkeeper to a rebound opportunity. Lorne Bickley's initial shot was saved by the Griffin keeper, but managed to sneak under the arm and role towards the goal line. Luke got a toe on it before the keeper could scoop up the loose ball, making it 3-0 in favor of the Wildcats in the 39th minute.
Bernal was at it again just before the half, getting a fortunate bounce at the top of the penalty box off a defender and overtop of the Griffin goalkeeper with 21 seconds to play. It was Bernal's fourth goal of the young season.
The Wildcats tacked another goal on in the second half, finishing the scoring in the 86th minute. The reigning CACC Rookie of the Week Bickley stayed hot as well, scoring his third goal of the year off a combo play at the top of the box with Joel Flores. Bickley slotted the shot past the keeper's left side for the 5-0 lead.
Vinny Tasca recorded two saved in goal for the Wildcats, making one stop on a break-a-way opportunity in the first half when the score was just 1-0. Dominic Folarin also cleared a ball off the goal line in the second half to pressure the team's first shutout of the season.
The Wildcats conclude their four-game homestand to start the season on Saturday, as they host Bloomfield. Saturday is also the 2017 Wilmington University Homecoming Festivities. Tailgating spots can be purchased at wilmu.edu/homecoming. The opening whistle is slated for approximately 2:30 p.m.