SECAUCUS, N.J. - - Kailynn Ortiz scored her first goal of the season in the 86th minute to deliver Wilmington University women's soccer a 2-1 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory at Alliance on Saturday afternoon.
The victory was a must for the Wildcats, as they sit in ninth place with a 3-4-4 CACC record with one game to play. Now, they must become Alliance fans, as the Wildcats need an Alliance victory over Caldwell on Tuesday, coupled with a Wilmington victory over Goldey-Beacom to get into the CACC Tournament.
For the first time in October, the Wildcats were not the first team to score in the game, as Alliance came out and took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. But Anna Ljuljic and the Wildcats answered back with a quick response. Ljuljic went high over the goalkeeper from 22 yards out to tie the game just 32 seconds later. It was her first collegiate career goal with a feed from Julia Yuhase.
The Wildcats went on to outshoot Alliance, 5-2, in the first half, but neither team found the back of the net again.
Wilmington had a good opportunity in the 52nd minute to take the lead after Emilie Larsen was tripped in the penalty area. But Samantha Emmi's attempt from the spot was saved and the game stayed tied, 1-1. Larsen put a shot on frame on the ensuing corner kick, but that was also saved by Alliance's netminder Celine Grothe.
Pressing forward, the Wildcats would finally get their goal in the 86th minute. Off a long free kick from Mio Nakajima, the ball was advanced twice with headers from Anna Ljuljic and Kailey Hyland. Kailynn Ortiz raced onto the ball into the box and beat the keeper to the near post to put the Wildcats ahead with 4:28 to play in the game.
The Wildcats outshot Alliance, 17-6 in the game, including 12-4 in the second half. They also earned more corners, 5-4.
Tuesday's game against Goldey-Beacom is set for a 3:30 p.m. start at the WU Athletics Complex.