WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College men’s soccer team defeated the Centre College Colonels 2-1 for its first win of the season Saturday afternoon.
Although the morning’s storm had just recently let up, the Fightin’ Quakers did not let the slick conditions deter them in the slightest. The skill of the WC offense was on full display early. Senior Yusef Muqtadir nearly scored his second goal of the season on a nice header missing just wide.
Less than five minutes later, senior Jeffry Vasquez was able to put a shot on frame that the Centre goalkeeper was not able to secure. The ball rebounded to Michael Owusu, who found the back of the net for his first goal of the season. Although Centre held a 9-5 advantage in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks, Wilmington held a 1-0 lead at halftime
Early in the second half, Sota Ippongi found himself alone at the top of the box and was able to calmly boot a shot past the keeper but, fortunately for the Quakers, it hit crossbar and harmlessly deflected over the goal. Midway through the second half, Wilmington’s Grant Murray played a great corner kick into the box. Several deflections and bounces later the ball emerged from the commotion and bounced into the net giving the Quakers a 2-0 lead. Late in the second half, Finnegan Deem-Ranzetta scored the lone goal for Centre in the 63rd minute with Zeke Saviello assisting.
Quaker head coach Cory Bucur was impressed with WC freshman goalkeeper Thomas Grimes.
“For a freshman to get his first win in his first start and against a team that qualified for the national tournament last fall is a huge confidence booster for him and the goalie group as a whole,” Bucur said.
The Colonels held a 16-13 shots edge in shots including by a 10-4 mark in shots on goal. The visitors also earned 11 corner kicks compared to seven for the hosts.
Coach Bucur secured his first win as the head coach of the Quakers and was proud of the performance of the team, saying after the game, “Proud of the response we had after the opener. You need captains to lead and to have both captains get on the scoresheet and have such an impact was awesome to see. Our focus shifts to Wittenberg on Monday.”
Wilmington will travel to Wittenberg University to take on the Tigers at 7 p.m. on Labor Day.