NEWARK, Del. - - Although still early in the season, first place in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference was on the line when a pair of teams from the First State took to the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday afternoon. Goldey-Beacom remained undefeated in conference play with a 3-1 victory over the Wilmington University women's soccer team.
Fighting from behind from early on, the Wildcats (4-3-1, 3-1 CACC) were able to cut the second half deficit to 2-1 but couldn't find the equalizer before the Lightning (6-0-1, 5-0 CACC) finished off the contest.
The Lightning put the pressure on early and struck first in the 17th minute. The visitors executed a perfect set piece from just outside the 18-yard box. Instead of taking a shot on goal, Amy Runciman slipped a pass just past the wall where Cliona Crammond redirected the pass into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats' Loran Wyrough nearly answered back immediately, but her sliding shot rang off the right post and remained out of the goal in the 18th minute. Melissa Gall had a great opportunity near the end of the half as well, finding herself open on the back post off a corner, but her one-time attempt sailed high on her, keeping the game, 1-0, as the halftime buzzer went off.
Goldey-Beacom again struck early in the second half, as Alanna Speaks capitalized off a misplay from the Wildcats' Kierstyn Williams. She scored her seventh goal of the season for the 2-0 lead just 6:02 into the half.
The Wildcats retaliated quickly, however, as this time Gall did find the back of the net off a free kick from Rebecca Dolhansky just 57 seconds later.
The home team kept the pressure on while looking for the equalizer, getting three corner kicks in a row and a header opportunity from Carin Essex-Arline. Laura van Steveninck also took a shot that was wide of the frame in the 64th minute.
A red card on Gall chanced the momentum in favor of the Lightning, as they extended the lead to 3-1 with a goal on the ensuing free kick in the 75th minute. Crammond scored her second goal of the game off the free kick for the 3-1 lead.
The Wildcats only put one shot on the board in the final 15 minutes of action with 10 women on the field as the Lightning closed out the victory.
Williams made two saves in 53 minutes before giving way to Kate Tubo for the final 37 miinutes. Tubo made one save in the game. Marta Lopez made two stops for the Lightning for the win.
The Wildcats take to the road for their next CACC match, as they head to Nyack on Saturday. That starts a two-game road swing for the Wildcats next week. Their match at Nyack is slated for a 12:00 p.m. opening whistle.