Press Release written by Mitchell Coll
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University wildcats finished their 2022 campaign amongst their home crowd at the WU Athletics Complex. The Wildcats dropped their season finale to the Goldey-Beacom College Lightning 2-0 Tuesday afternoon in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchup.
Both teams finished the first half scoreless as Mio Nakajima stopped the Lightning's one chance on goal in the first half in the 10th minute. The Wildcats had some offensive pressure in the first half as Julia Yuhase knocked a corner kick into the box in the 14th minute and Annie Holst shot on goal in the 17th minute. Isabella Lundberg recorded a shot on goal in the 30th minute, and two minutes later, Samantha Emmi stepped over the ball for a free-kick 22 yards out. Emmi looked at a three-person wall and connected well with the ball, but it was right to the Goldey-Beacom's keeper's hands.
Julia Yuhase made excellent contact with a strike from the left side in the 39 minutes that looked promising. However, Jennifer Mejia saved Yuhase's shot, who found herself in a good position. Sammie Bennett's last attempt in the first half was from a volley, but the ball sailed high over the bar.
Mio Nakajima had her hands full in the second half, making five of her six saves in the final 45 minutes. The Lightning's second-half pressure proved to be the difference maker as they doubled their shot total from the first half to 14 in the second half. The Wildcats could not record a shot in the second half as Goldey-Beacom scored twice in the second half. First, from a corner kick in the 70th minute and a first-time finish from a cross in the 81st minute.
The Wildcats say goodbye to six student-athletes who will not return to Newark next season; Isabella Lundberg, Kailey Hyland, Yazmyne Valencia, Samantha Emmi, Emily Navarrete, and Alex Keck. Lundberg appeared in 27 games while making five starts. Hyland appeared in 30 games over three seasons, scoring four goals while adding an assist for nine career points. Valencia appeared in 31 games, starting in 12 as an outside back. Emmi appeared and started in 55 games and finished with 16 career goals ranking sixth all-time as a Wildcat. Navarrete played in 61 games and made 41 starts. Keck played in 64 matches and made 49 starts.
The Wildcats finished ninth in the CACC in 2022, just one spot shy of a playoff spot. The Wildcats finished 5-8-5 overall and 3-5-4 in conference play.