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WATERBURY, Conn. - - Two second half goals send the Wilmington University men's soccer team back to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship match with a 2-0 victory over fourth seeded Jefferson on Friday afternoon at LaMoy Field at Post University.
With the win, the top seeded Wildcats (14-1-4) advance to the CACC Championship match for the first time since 2014, looking to capture the postseason title for the first time since 2007. They will play second seeded and host Post University in the Championship on Sunday after the Eagles defeated third seeded Georgian Court, 3-1, in the second semifinal.
The Wildcats supplied most of the pressure in the first half, but couldn't find the back of the net. The Wildcats outshot the Rams (9-8-2), 11-6, while earning more corners, 7-0, in the first half, but Jefferson goalkeeper Kris Donaldson made seven saves to keep the game knotted at 0-0 at the half.
Wilmington again came out of the gate in the second half by supplying the pressure, earning two more corners and having two shots in the opening four minutes of action. But they wouldn't break through until the 61st minute.
Tom Garratt made a run through the middle and into the box, getting tripped and going down to earn a penalty kick. He stepped up to take his own penalty attempt, burying the shot for the 1-0 lead 60:20 into the match.
The Wildcats were able to strike again moments later, as Will Stone placed a left footed in-swinging ball to the penalty spot. Sam Jester came charging on and headed home his seventh goal of the year and the 2-0 lead in the 68th minute.
Jefferson began to press and eventually was able to get past the Wildcats defensive line and Vinny Tasca in the 83rd minute, using a long shot form the right side to go up and over Tasca to cut the deficit in half.
But that would be the final chance for the Rams in the contest, as the Wildcats held off any other attempt to close out the final seven minutes of play.
The Wildcats outshot the Rams, 19-10, for the match while also earning more corners, 13-1. Donaldson ended with nine saves for Jefferson while Tasca made four stops for the win.
The CACC Tournament Championship match will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at LaMoy Field. The winner of the match will earn the CACC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament.