LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. - - For the first time since the 2009 season, the Wilmington University men's soccer team has won its first five Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contests, defeating Chestnut Hill, 6-1, under the lights at Victory Field #1 on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats are now 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the CACC, its best start since the 2009 season when the Wildcats went undefeated in league play in the regular season, 11-0. The victory over the Griffins (3-4-2, 2-2-2 CACC) also serves as redemption for the Wildcats, having fallen to Chestnut Hill hours after being voted in the NSCAA National Poll for the first in the 2014 season.
The Wildcats jumped out on top early on the Griffins, putting the first seven shots of the match on the score sheet. It was the fourth shot of the match, though, that broke the ice. Juan Bernal received a cross from Josh Fawssett in the ninth minute, burying in the back of the next just 8:58 into the contest.
The visitors continued to put the pressure on after the first goal, putting up the next three shots and four of the next five overall. The final shot of the run put the Wildcats on top, 2-0, as Clifford Nwechefom converted a Griffin turnover into his sixth goal of the season 34:51 into the match.
The Wildcats out shot the Griffins, 9-3, in the first half to go into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Another quick goal to start a half added to the lead for the Wildcats, as Lance Berry scored his team leading seventh goal of the season less than four minutes into the half, getting a pass from Nwechefom for the 3-0 lead.
Back-to-back corners led to the Wildcats' fourth goal of the match, as Steven O'Connor's cross was initially headed out by the Griffins. Alex Luke didn't give up on the ball and headed it back towards the frame, putting the Wildcats up, 4-0, 66:03 into the match.
O'Connor received his chance almost five minutes later, finishing an opportunity as Juan Bernal's initial shot was blocked in the 71st minute.
The Griffins got on the board in the 84th minute as Nils Fussen scored on a free kick from the left side of the 18-yard box.
Wilmington goalkeeper Frank Hall made two saves in goal to improve to 7-0 on the year while the Griffins used a pair of goalkeepers in the loss. James Jackson made four saves in the first 70:55 before giving way to Miguel Gonzalez-Escobar for the remainder of the match.
The Wildcats outshot the Griffins, 18-10, while also earning more corners, 9-5, for the match.
After a three-match road trip, the Wildcats return home and put their four-match winning streak on the line on Saturday. Wilmington will take on Caldwell in front of a Homecoming crowd at the WU Athletics Complex starting at 3 p.m.