WILMINGTON — Up at halftime, the Wilmington College men’s soccer team survived a late push from Capital University to secure a 1-0 Ohio Athletic Conference victory on Senior Night Wednesday at Townsend Field.
The Fightin’ Quakers outshot the Comets 8-3 in the first half with six of those shots coming in a two-minute window in the middle portion of the half. In the 29th minute, Yusef Muqtadir ripped a shot that was saved by Capital goalkeeper Landon Hoehn, but the hosts earned a corner kick. Fellow senior Bryce Roberts sent in the corner kick that found Brady Shapiro. The sophomore’s shot also was saved, but Casey Miller pounced on the rebound to score what proved to be the game-winning goal.
A minute later, Roberts nearly doubled the Quakers’ lead as hit shot from distance hit the crossbar. Two more shots, one saved and one blocked, rounded out the flurry as Wilmington took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, everything flipped. Capital held a 7-2 edge in total shots. One of WC’s shots, coming off the foot of Ryan Forino in the 69th minute, was headed for goal, but Hoehn made the diving save. The Comets were seemingly energized by the near disaster and would take the final five shots of the game in the last 20 minutes. In the 74th minute, Wilmington committed a foul in the center of the field. Jarrett Puckett’s effort at goal beat Felix Maurer, but the shot caromed off the crossbar. Wilmington High School graduate Sam Spirk found the rebound, but his strike was just high.
Capital’s best chance came perhaps in the 84th minute when Puckett’s left-footed strike was headed low for the far post, but Maurer’s outstretched arm made the diving save. In the final two minutes, the Comets earned their lone corner kick of the game, and just like the Quakers, got a chance on a loose ball in the box. Fortunately for the home team, the final shot off Puckett’s foot was blocked.
Both teams took 10 shots in the game with Maurer earned a win with four saves and Hoehn taking the loss while making five saves. Roberts led WC with three shots while Spirk and Puckett both took three for Capital.
With the win, Wilmington (12-1-3, 5-1-2 OAC) secures a home game for the upcoming OAC Tournament next week. The Quakers close out the regular season with a trip to defending OAC champions John Carroll University on Saturday.