Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Carin Essex-Arline by James Jones.
NEWARK, Del. - - A fierce comeback fell just short for the Wilmington University women's soccer team in a 2-1 loss to Caldwell in the First Round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
With the loss, the fourth seeded Wildcats close their season at 10-8 overall; a four game improvement from a season ago. Fifth seeded Caldwell (10-8-1) advance to the CACC Tournament Semifinals on Thursday where the Cougars face top seeded Georgian Court at Post University.
Trailing 2-0, the Wildcats attempted to make a late game comeback as Carin Essex-Arline cut the deficit in half in the 82nd minute. Kellie MacIntosh found Essex-Arline charging into the box and the sophomore did the rest, scoring with a hard low shot from 16 yards out.
The Wildcats had ample opportunities to tie the game late, but shots from Loran Wyrough and MacIntosh both sailed wide left of the goal frame.
Caldwell got on the board in the first half in the 24th minute as the Wildcats defense couldn't quite get the ball out of the penalty area. The ball popped loose on a scramble and right to Caldwell's Sarina Soriano who buried it from close range for her seventh goal of the season.
The Wildcats put the final three shots of the half on the board, but Caldwell's Mary Kanzler saved two while the third was high.
Caldwell came out strong in the second half, getting off the first nine shots of the second frame. Despite pressure in the offensive third during that same time, the Wildcats couldn't get the final touch to get a shot off.
It was the eighth shot of the half that seemed to break the back of the Wildcats, as Caldwell's Kelly Folk was on the doorstep to clean up a breakaway by Gianna Klucker. Klucker's initial shot was saved by Wilmington netminder Kierstyn Williams, but the rebounds bounced right to Folk who buried it for the 2-0 lead in the 78th minute.
Caldwell outshot the Wildcats, 12-6, while also earning more corners, 3-2, in the match. Williams recorded seven saves for the Wildcats while Kanzler came up with two stops for the Cougars.
The fourth place finish in the CACC standings was the best finish for the women's soccer team since winning the CACC Regular Season Championship in 2012.