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NEWARK, Del. - - Even time couldn't keep the Wilmington University men's soccer team off the scoreboard, as they picked up right where they left off the 2019 season, beating Bentley, 5-2, in the 2021 season opener on Thursday at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (1-0) led all of NCAA Division II in goals, assists, and points in 2019, but haven't played a countable game since November 23, 2019. That didn't stop the Wildcats on Thursday, as they put up four in the first half in route to the lid lifting victory.
One of the few leftovers from the 2019 team is All-American Shawn Genus and he got the scoring started once again on Thursday. He found a sliver of light in the box off a pass from Hakim Williams and slid it home under the keeper in the 17th minute.
The Wildcats continued to press, eventually scoring three goals in a four-minute span. Freshman Reinoud van Eijk beat the keeper to the near post a minute later for the 2-0 lead before freshman Shoki Yoshida scored his first goal as a Wildcat off a long ball from Genus in the 21st minute to make it 3-0.
The lone hiccup of the first half for the Wildcats was giving up a penalty kick in the 35th minute that the Falcons (0-1) put home.
But Yoshida gave the Wildcats the momentum once more heading into the break, providing a highlight reel goal on the back post. Richard Thompson sent a cross in and Yoshida left his feet for a side volley, going far post to make it 4-1 in the 43rd minute.
After the break, Shawn Genus added to his game with his second goal of the game, beating two defenders to a through ball from Williams, again beating the keeper low for the 5-1 lead in the 54th minute. Genus finished with two goals and an assist for five points.
The Wildcats outshot the Falcons, 22-3, despite the Falcons earning more corners, 7-6.
The Wildcats will try to keep the momentum going on Sunday as they welcome 15th ranked Adelphi to the Complex. The opening whistle is set for 3:00 p.m.