LYNDHURST, N.J. - - Playing in unfavorable conditions, the 17th ranked Wilmington University men's soccer team got back in the win column with a hard fought 3-2 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory at Felician on Saturday night at Lyndhurst Recreational.
After suffering their first loss of the season a week ago, the Wildcats (11-1-1, 5-1 CACC) had to battle a torrential downpour and an upstart Felician (4-5-1, 3-2 CACC) team on its Senior Night.
The Wildcats didn't find the back of the net until the 36th minute, as both teams were trying to figure out the wind and rain throughout the first half. Dimitris Passalis had the ball on the end line on the right side, sending a ball across the box. The ball popped out to Hakim Williams and his low angled shot found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
That's how the teams would go into the halftime break, with the Wildcats holding a 3-1 advantage on shots and 4-1 advantage on corners.
The second half proved to be more interesting.
The high pressure led to another goal for the Wildcats, as Gabriel Marin intercepted a pass following a goal kick in the 52nd minute. Marin stepped in to steal the centering pass atop the 18-yard box, got the ball on his left foot and scored from 17-yards out for his first collegiate career goal and the 2-0 lead.
But Felician wouldn't roll over so easily on Saturday, a free kick was able to weasel its way past a pair of defenders and past Konstantinos Parisis and into the back of the net. The bouncing ball stunned everyone and Felician was on the board, 2-1, in the 67th minute.
It looked as though the Wildcats put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute, gaining a 3-1 lead from Mamadou Diombera. Tyrese Small collected a clearing ball from deep in Felician's zone and quickly crossed it into the box. Diombera never let the ball hit the wet turf, volleying it in for his first goal of the year.
But just moments later, Felician struck again to make things interesting. A ball played from the left corner made its way to in front of the goal where Xabier Aizpuru connected with a sliding volley to beat Parisis and made it 3-2 with 1:08 showing on the clock.
But the Wildcats were able to run off the final 68 seconds and get back into the win column with the 3-2 victory.
The Wildcats led 11-7 in shots and 9-5 in corners for the contest. Parisis made one save in goal for the victory.
Wilmington will dry out and return home to face Holy Family on Tuesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex. The CACC contest is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.