DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - - A pair of first half goals separated by less than three minutes was more than enough for the Wilmington University women's soccer team on Wednesday afternoon, as the Wildcats defeated Mercy, 2-1, on Mercy Field.
The goals came two minutes and 23 seconds apart in the first half, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Mercy, who is ranked No. 5 in the East Region in this week's United Soccer Coaches Regional Rankings, retaliated with a goal before the break, but that would be all they would get.
Anastasia Diakos scored her second goal of the year in the 29th minute, finishing off a set piece from Samantha Emmi. The initial ball was headed down by Lauren Hoelke, but Krysta Memis got on the loose ball to the right of the keeper. She crossed it back into the box and Diakos was there to volley the ball out of the air from 10 yards out, finding the back of the net.
Samantha Emmi was at it again just moments later, turning another set piece into a 2-0 lead. A foul on the outside left side of the box set up the goal, as Emmi set a low drive to the near post. With congestion in front of her, the goalkeeper couldn't get any body part on the shot, as Emmi slipped it past her for her first goal of the year.
Mercy would be able to get one back with five minutes left in the first half, using their own set piece to find the back of the net. Starting from the right side of the 18-yard box, the ball was sent in. Emily Camp came off her line and grabbed it out of the air, but lost control when she hit the ground and the Mavericks were there to clean up the rebound.
The defense was on high alert in the second half, bending but not breaking as Mercy outshot the Wildcats, 6-2, in the final 45 minutes. Mio Nakajima came off her line and made sliding saves on multiple occasions to keep the ball out of the back of the net. The Wildcats would hold on for their first win against Mercy since 2010. Nakajima would make two saves in the half to secure the victory.
The Wildcats have a full week off to prepare for their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener at Jefferson. The Wednesday contest in Philadelphia is set for a 3:30 p.m. start.