GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - - For the first time in program history, the Wilmington University women's soccer team defeated a nationally ranked opponent, defeating No. 6 Adelphi, 1-0, on Thursday night at Motamed Field.
A goal in the 53rd minute roved to be the difference as the Wildcats (10-5-1) gave nationally sixth and East Region No. 1 Adelphi (13-1) their first loss of the season. The Panthers are ranked in the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) National and Regional Polls.
Thursday was the first win over a nationally ranked team for the Wildcats, and only the second time they have scored against a nationally ranked opponent. They lost to No. 7 LIU Post, 2-1, in 2012.
The Panthers put the first three shots of the game on the board before the Wildcats' Jessica Unsihuay put a shot on frame in the 27th minute. The Panthers would end up leading the Wildcats, 4-2, in shots at the halftime break.
The Wildcats came out of the break with a purpose, getting the first shot of the second half in the 50th minute off the foot of Rebecca Dolhansky resulting in a corner. The Wildcats would find the back of the net minutes later.
Preslie Quaranta put a cross into the box, drawing the goalkeeper off the line. The goalie dove but couldn't come up with the ball, and Unsihuay was there to stuff the shot for the 1-0 lead 52:23 into the match. It was the freshman's second goal of the season.
The Panthers turned up the pressure for the rest of the match, coming as close as a header that hit the post just a minute later. The Panthers outshot the Wildcats, 7-1, the rest of the second half, including a 7-0 advantage in corners after the goal.
But the Wilmington defense stood tall, anchored by Kierstyn Williams' four saves in the second half to keep the Panthers scoreless. Williams made seven saves to record her fifth solo shutout and the team's sixth of the season.
Thursday was the final nonconference contest of the regular season for the Wildcats, as they have two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contests remaining before the postseason. The Wildcats head to Concordia on Saturday for a 12:00 p.m. opening kick.