NEWARK, Del. - - Down by one goal at the half, the Wilmington University men's soccer team scored a later game-tying goal in the second half and Tommy Quaranta sent the Wildcats home with an overtime win, 4-3, defeating Nyack in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Wearing pink uniforms for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness game in conjunction with the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, the Wildcats (4-6, 2-4 CACC) breathed life into their conference schedule and now have won two straight overall. Nyack remains with 10 points in the CACC with a 4-4-1 overall record in 3-1-1 in the conference. Nyack was ranked 10th in the East Region coming into today's contest.
Trailing 3-2 at the half, the Wildcats got a goal on a set corner piece as freshman Lance berry raised above everyone for his second goal of the season. Kresimir Nurnberger played a short corner to Ray Kuemmer at the corner of the penalty box. Kuemmer took little time with the ball as he one-timed it towards the far post where Berry got a head on the ball, fighting to get to it before the keeper for the tying goal in the 66th minute.
Quaranta had multiple opportunities late in regulation to put the Wildcats ahead once again, but could never find the proper footing to finish the ball, sending the game into overtime. The senior would more than make up for the missed opportunities in regulation with a dramatic finish in overtime.
Playing with a man down since the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Warriors came out in overtime and earned the first corner kick and shot of the extra period, but then it was all Wilmington from there on out.
Pedro Moreira almost won the match with a header off a corner, but the defender on the post headed the ball away as it got by the Nyack goaltender and heading for the net. A couple of shots by Berry and a pair of corners also flooded the Wildcats overtime period, but without a goal through the first nine minutes.
With 45 seconds remaining, Quaranta found himself staring at an open goal and the ball on his foot as Moreira made a solid run down the left side and into the penalty box. As the goalie came out to play Moreira, the sophomore passed off the ball to a wide open Quaranta who redirected the pass into the open net for the game-winner. The senior was then hounded and taken to the ground as the bench cleared and a dog pile in front of the home stands ensued.
The game-winner was Quaranta's second of the match and third of the season, ending the contest after 99:15 of action.
Nyack got on the board first, scoring in the eighth minute of action for the early lead. But the Wildcats responded quickly and often, scoring two goals in under a minute to take their first lead of the match.
Senior Justus Henry took a pass from Nurnberger outside the bow and took a shot over a drawn out goalkeeper, sneaking it under the crossbar for his second goal of the season. Not even a minute later, Quaranta challenged a Nyack pass back to Jodel Wright in goal and blocked his clearing attempt, sending the ball into the back of the net 10:55 into the match.
The Warriors came back and scored consecutive goals to retake the lead in the 33rd minute, heading into the halftime break with a 3-2 lead.
Spyros Stergiotis moved to 3-1 as a starter in goal for the Wildcats, making two saves on the day. Wright needed to make eight saves for the Warriors in the loss.
Wilmington outshot Nyack, 25-10, including a 15-3 mark in the second half. The Wildcats also took four shots to Nyack's one in the overtime period.
The Wildcats have a busy week next week, as they head to Felician for an untraditional goal on Monday afternoon. They also head to Millersville on Wednesday before returning home for a match against Concordia next Saturday. The match at Felician is set for a 4 p.m. start.