WILMINGTON – The Wilmington College men’s soccer team held nationally ranked Kenyon College in check most of the night Wednesday, but the Owls converted on a rare opportunity and left Townsend Field with a 1-0 victory.
“Tonight was a very high quality soccer game that we just came out on the wrong side of,” WC head coach Cory Bucur said. “When it’s two great teams competing, you have to take your chances. They capitalized on one of their few and we unfortunately did not.”
The Fightin’ Quakers played perhaps their best half of the season against the No. 8-ranked Owls in the first half. Elorm Dogbey, the reigning Ohio Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, who’s netted WC’s last three goals, nearly opened the scoring in the third minute when the fifth-year senior found a sliver of space in the box and rifled a shot aimed at the top corner on the near side. The shot beat Owl goalkeeper Jack Pedreschi, but caromed off the crossbar.
In the 20th minute, Yusef Muqtadir took a pass from the midfield into the box, but the Kenyon defense thwarted the challenge. The hosts kept the pressure up as two minutes later, Ben Guimson, getting his first start of his career, broke loose down the left side of the pitch, beat the goalkeeper, but his left-footed shot was saved off the line by an Owl defender.
Wilmington enjoyed 56 percent of possession on its offensive half of the field, but went into halftime scoreless as both teams attempted five shots in the first 45 minutes.
The Quakers yielded just a single shot on goal the entire 90 minutes, but the Owls capitalized on the chance as Eamon Dujakovich sent a beautiful cross that found Alem Duratovic in the middle of the box, who directed a header near post for the game-winning goal in the 71st minute.
Kenyon finished with an 8-4 advantage in shots in the second half for a total of 13-9 in the game, but it was Wilmington who tested goal three times compared to just one for the visitors. Thomas Grimes picked up his first defeat of his career while Pedreschi made three saves to earn the victory.
“There were a lot of encouraging signs for us in how we were able to play,” said Bucur. “I think we will clean things up and have a very strong rest of the season.”
Wilmington (3-2-1) heads to Geneva College (Pa.) for a 3 p.m. Saturday kickoff.