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NEWARK, Del. - - Pol Romero scored his first collegiate career goal in fine fashion, heading one home in the final four minutes to help the No. 13 Wilmington University men's soccer team comeback and defeat No. 16 Gannon on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
It is the second victory over a United Soccer Coaches Top 25 team this year, defeating No. 15 Adelphi early this year at home as well.
The Wildcats (5-0-1) controlled the tempo and possession of the ball for the majority of the first half, but they didn't form any real scoring opportunities. They led 6-3 in shots and 8-0 in corners in the first, but the score was knotted at 0-0.
Shawn Genus had a free kick from 22 yards outs that Golden Knight (4-1-0) goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco tipped over the crossbar in the 54th minute, the first real test for keeper in the game. Genus had another opportunity moments later, but his flick up and over a charging Rocco was too hard, missing everything over the top.
Of all the corners the Wildcats took in the contest (14), it ended up being a Gannon corner that started the scoring in the second half. Lennox Crews sent a bending ball into the box and Sergio Del Castillo was there to head it towards the back post and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead in the 75th minute.
But the Wildcats responded less than a minute later, getting a fortuitous deflection to tie the game, 1-1. Tyler Guadagno had the ball on the right wing, crossing one into the box. Yohan Kim headed the ball to continue its path into the box and a Gannon defender tried clearing the ball, but instead it went off his leg and into the back of the net. Gannon held the lead for just 33 seconds.
With time running out, Pol Romero found himself all alone on the six-yard box. Shawn Genus played a perfect ball with his left foot into the box and all Romero had to do was get it on frame. He headed it home back towards the near post, giving the Wildcats the 2-1 lead with 3:48 to play.
Gannon turned up the pressure in the final minutes, playing multiple balls into the box and gaining two corner kicks. But Konstantinos Parisis made the one stop he needed to diving to his left with 1:27 left to preserve the win.
The Wildcats outshot the Golden Knights, 15-8, and gained more corners, 14-5. Parisis made three saves with Richard Thompson also clearing a ball off the line for a team total of four saves.
The Wildcats begin their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference portion of their schedule this upcoming week, starting with Jefferson on the road on Tuesday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Philadelphia.