BLOOMFIELD, N.J. - - A second half penalty kick soured the chances of a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference road victory for the Wilmington University men's soccer team, as they fell, 2-1, to Bloomfield on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
The Wildcats (2-2-2, 2-1 CACC) couldn't capitalize after the penalty kick in the 67th minute , but nearly squared the match against on multiple occasions. The Bears (5-1, 3-0 CACC), ranked ninth in the lasts United Soccer Coaches East Regional Poll, scored early in the game to put the pressure on the Wildcats.
Just four minutes into the contest, Bloomfield's Nicholas Calabia squirted free down the right side behind the last line of defense. He set a hard cross into the box, finding the head of teammate Arman Bashiri who redirected it home at the back post for the early 1-0 lead. The Bears had the first three shots and chances in the contest.
The Wildcats' Daniel Loyo had an opportunity in the 16th minute, but his header off a set play hit the crossbar and stayed out. But the visitors would find their equalizer in the 20th minute.
Following a foul at the top of the box in the penalty area, Ben Jordan stepped in to take the penalty shot. Despite Jordan's kick being saved, he stayed with the play and easily tapped in his own rebound to tie the game, 1-1, just 19:30 into the game.
The match was tightly contested in the first half, as each team went into the break with five shots in the boxscore.
The Bears took advantage of one of their few opportunities in the second half, as a foul in the right side of the box drew a penalty kick for the home team. Regsan Watkins was able to beat Wilmington goalkeeper Vinny Tasca for his second goal of the season and the 2-1 lead 66 minutes into the match.
The Wildcats put on the offensive pressure for the remainder of the match, getting off seven shots in the final 24 minutes. Daniel Loyo had a header that went right of the goal before a long distance chance from Lorne Bickley was saved by Bloomfield's goalkeeper Jovan Stanojkovic.
Ben Jordan had an excellent opportunity on a free kick just off the left post from 25 yards out. His attempt didn't dip quick enough for the Wildcats, however, as his shot clanked off the crossbar with less than three minutes to play. Abdul Mansaray's header on the rebound sailed high as well.
The Wildcats out shot the Bears, 13-12, as well as earned more corners, 7-4, for the match. Tasca recorded five saves in goal for the Wildcats while Stanojkovic made four saves for the win.
The Wildcats return home to square off against crosstown rival Goldey-Beacom on Tuesday afternoon. The CACC matchup is set to take off at 4:00 p.m. at the WU Athletics Complex.