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Dominant Second Half Keeps Men’s Soccer Dancing, Defeat Le Moyne, 4-1, NCAA East Regional Tournament First Round

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo follow a goal by Fredrik Bentdal. Photo by Keara McCarthy. November 9, 2018 at Le Moyne in First Round of NCAA Tournament.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo follow a goal by Fredrik Bentdal. Photo by Keara McCarthy. November 9, 2018 at Le Moyne in First Round of NCAA Tournament.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - - Three unanswered goals broke a brief 1-1 tie for the Wilmington University men's soccer team, as the fifth seeded Wildcats defeated fourth seeded and host Le Moyne, 4-1, in the First Round of the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament on Friday afternoon at Ted Grant Field.

The win is the third NCAA Tournament victory for the Wildcats (15-2-4) as they have advanced to the Second Round of the Tournament in all four appearances. They earned a First Round bye in the 2009 Tournament, winning games in 2013 and 2015.

With the win, the Wildcats advance to play East Region top seeded and nationally No. 9 Adelphi on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The game will once again be played at Ted Grant Field on the campus of Le Moyne College.

On Friday, the Wildcats held a halftime lead, 1-0, and took that lead into the 58th minute. Le Moyne's first chance in the second half found the back of the net to tie the game, but that didn't last long as the Wildcats regained momentum and the lead just 1:24 of game time later and never looked back. The Wildcats would score again in the 69th minute and sealed the deal with a fourth goal in the 87th minute.

The first half was dominated with play in the midfield, as the shots were even, 2-2, while Wilmington earned more corners, 3-1. Neither goalkeeper made a save in the first half.

But the Wildcats only needed one chance to find the back of the net, and they did in the 32nd minute. Joe Bell played a through ball down the middle, finding Fredrik Bentdal who beat the offsides trap. He was in alone on the keeper and scored his 10th of the season for the 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats controlled the beginning of the second half getting three shots and a corner before the Dolphins came to life. The Wildcats had a set piece just outside the 18-yard box but couldn't convert and the Dolphins countered. They went the length of the field and Salar Faryar was left alone at the top of the box. He beat Vinny Tasca low to tie the game, 1-1, at the 57:34 mark.

But the Wildcats answered right back, taking the ensuing draw and headed towards goal. Sam Jester played a ball to the left side of the box, teeing up a left footed blast from Bentdal that went near post for his second of the game, 11th of the season, and the 2-1 lead at the 58:58 mark.

Wilmington continued to put the pressure on, resulting in another goal 10 minutes later. Will Stone (left) worked his way down to the end line and danced around the goalkeeper and a pair of Dolphin defenders, slotting it home for his 12th of the year and the 3-1 lead in the 69th minute.

Ben Jordan gave the Wildcats another insurance goal in the 87th minute, capping the game with his third of the year on a rebound from Davion Wedderburn.

With 14 shots in the second half, the Wildcats outshot the Dolphins, 16-5, and earned more corners, 7-2.

The only other time the Wildcats faced Adelphi was in the First Round of the 2015 NCAA Division II Tournament at LIU Post, a 4-3 overtime victory for the Wildcats scored by Jamie Burridge.