Despite controlling possession for the majority of the match, the Wilmington University men's soccer team dropped an important East Region nonconference matchup, 1-0, to visiting LIU Post on Wednesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
LIU Post (7-3-1 overall) was ranked sixth in the latest NSCAA Division II East Region Poll as the Wildcats (6-5) needed the quality win to get back into the conversation in the region. But a Pioneer goal in the 30th minute was all the visitors needed to secure the shutout victory.
The Wildcats outshot the Pioneers, 7-5, in the first half, but the visitors took advantage of a free kick opportunity just outside the 18-yard box on the left side of the field.
The ball was played into the box on the set piece and LIU Post's Eivind Austboe challenged Wilmington goalkeeper in the air of the back post. Despite the contact near the goal line, the play continued and the ball popped loose. Austboe found the ball at his feet and slotted it into the empty net for the 1-0 lead 29:09 into the match.
Bruno Montini had a pair of chances on Wilmington's own set piece in the second half. But each time, Montini's shot was stopped by the Pioneers' netminder Jesper Malmstrom, first in the 53rd minute, and again in the 83rd minute.
The Wildcats had a last ditch effort in the last minute of play, earning a corner kick and a header from Adrian Tash that was put on frame with three seconds left, but Malmstrom was there to record the save.
Wilmington led in shots, 14-12, and collected six corners in the second half, but the Pioneers earned more corners in the game, 10-6.
Lee recorded five saves for the Wildcats, including back-to-back saves off a set piece in the 88th minute to keep the Wildcats alive. Malmstrom recorded three saves for the shutout victory.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday when they host Bloomfield in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at the WU Athletics Complex. The team will be donning their pink uniforms in honor of its annual Breast Cancer Awareness game. The Delaware Breast Cancer will be on hand to collect donations at the gate. The men are schedule to start at 2:30 p.m., following the women's game.