In a game high on physicality and low on fouls, it was the few fouls called that played a pivotal role in the outcome as the Wilmington College women’s soccer team fell to Mount Union Saturday, 3-2, in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Townsend Field in Williams Stadium.
Of the five goals scored, three came off free kicks immediately following foul calls, including the Purple Raiders’ game-winner with less than five minutes remaining. The game-winner came less than two minutes after the Fightin’ Quakers had battled back from a 2-nil deficit to knot the score at two.
“We definitely didn’t quit,” said Wilmington acting head coach Bob Dessecker. “We changed our formation and the girls gained a lot of confidence. We put a lot of pressure to score but we couldn’t finish.”
Dessecker was in charge of the team in place of head coach Steve Spirk, who was tending to a personal family matter.
Mount Union had a chance to take the lead in the 23rd minute, but junior Ana Hosler made a point blank save on a penalty kick and then again on the rebound. Hosler finished with nine saves on 12 shots in 90 minutes of action.
“That was huge,” said Dessecker. “I thought it would give us momentum.”
The Purple Raiders eventually found the back of the net with a pair of goals in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
Sophomore Taylor Leake scored from a free kick from about 20 yards out to pull Wilmington to within one.
Wilmington continued to apply pressure, and finally a great individual effort by junior Ashley Lovett paid dividends as she tallied the equalizer in the 83rd minute.
It was the final home game for seniors Alyssa Reule, Erika Good and Taylor Scott.
Wilmington (5-6-4 overall, 0-5-2 OAC) travels to Muskingum 7 p.m. Wednesday for an OAC match.