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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - - The Second Round upset bid came up just short for the Wilmington University men's soccer team, 2-1, as top seed and nationally No. 9 ranked Adelphi snuck out with the victory on Sunday afternoon at Ted Grant Field on the campus of Le Moyne College.
Battling uphill from the second minute, the fifth seeded Wildcats (15-3-4) tied the game in the 40th minute and played evenly with the nationally ranked Panthers. But an own goal in the 84th minute was the deal breaker, as the Panthers advanced to the Third Round and East Regional Tournament Final later in the week. Adelphi will play second seeded LIU Post for the Regional Championship.
The game didn't start as planned for the Wildcats, even as they took the opening whistle with the ball. Adelphi quickly gained control of the ball and went the other way. Off a quick restart into the corner, a low cross to the front of the goalmouth was one-touched home by the Panthers just 1:11 into the contest.
The Wildcats seemed to settle down following the goal, gaining possession and getting back to their normal game. They answered with a Tom Garratt header and back-to-back shots by Ben Jordan and Sam Jester.
Wilmington finally broke through with their fourth corner of the half, coming on back-to-back chances in the 40th minute. Fredrik Bentdal bent a ball to the near post and Sam Jester was able to deflect it towards the back post, knotting the contest, 1-1, at the 39:04 mark.
The second half possession was more evenly spread between the two teams, with Adelphi picking up their first three corners of the game in the early going. Sam Jester got the Wildcats first shot of the second half off in the 65th minute but the ensuing corner was cleared from danger by the Panthers.
Off a goal kick, the Panthers got in on the right side and into the right corner. The cross came to the near post and Daniel Loyo came sliding in looking to clear it away. But the ball deflected off Loyo and into the back of the net to give the Panthers the 2-1 lead with 6:29 left in regulation.
The Wildcats best chance came at the 87:06 mark, as a cross from the left side came into the box but Davion Wedderburn's header was redirected left of the goal and over the end line. The Wildcats also had a corner kick in the 89th minute, but their sixth and final corner of the day was again cleared without getting a shot off.
The Wildcats outshot the Panthers, 4-3, in the second half, tying the Panther, 9-9, for the game. The Wildcats earned more corners, 6-5, in the contest. Vinny Tasca made three saves for the Wildcats while the Adelphi keeper Matt Apicella recorded one stop.