WC men’s soccer loses on penalty kicks in OAC semifinal


MARIETTA, Ohio – The Wilmington College men’s soccer team battled Marietta College to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament action, but the host Pioneers advanced to Sunday’s final via a 4-3 penalty kick shootout on Thursday evening.

Both teams took eight shots in the first half of the semifinal, and it was the final shot of the half that yielded the game’s opening goal. Ryan Forino broke loose down the near sideline and fired a shot that caromed off the post, and Michael Owusu was there to pounce firing the ball into the net to give the Fightin’ Quakers a 1-0 halftime lead.

Wilmington, the No. 3 seed for the OAC Tournament, looked to mirror its 1-0 victory over the Pioneers in the regular season. The hosts had other ideas, however, as Marietta earned a free kick in Wilmington territory in the 80th minute. Davin Chappel sent a cross into the box, and Caden Ferguson, from nearly the same spot on the pitch as Owusu scored, headed the ball into the net for the equalizer. Seemingly energized from the goal, the Pioneers held the majority of possession over the final 10 minutes, but the Quakers’ defense held to force overtime.

In overtime, the Quakers regained the “pep in their step” taking seven shots compared to the Pioneers’ three, but despite a 23-17 edge in total shots, the game would be decided by a penalty kick shootout.

Zach Burgmeier went first and converted with a low shot to his right. Wilmington goalkeeper Felix Maurer gave the Quakers an advantage after one as he dove to his right to save Jovonni Auddino’s shot. Marietta leveled the shootout 1-1 after two, however, as Ian Monfenter’s shot hit the crossbar and Caden Ferguson shot on a high shot. The third round was again kind to the visitors as Brady Shapiro fooled Pioneer goalkeeper Ryan Riccillo with a low shot and Ben Teasdale’s attempt missed everything.

Up 2-1, Grant Murray’s shot was saved by Riccillo as he dove to his right to make the save. After both teams scored on their fourth shot, Riccillo again dove to his right, stopping a shot by Casey Miller. Colston Roades then stepped up with a chance to send Marietta to the tournament title game. Maurer nearly saved his attempt, but Roades’ ball had a bit too much pace.

Both netminders earned their first draws of the season with Riccillo saving 10 shots in regular play and Maurer five. Alongside their shots edge, the Quakers also earned seven corner kicks and surrendered just one.

Wilmington finishes its 2021 spring season with a 7-3-1 overall record, a third-place finish in the OAC regular season and the program’s first OAC Tournament win in 15 years.

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