The Wilmington College men’s soccer team got out to a fast start, and held on for the non-conference victory over Hanover Tuesday, beating the Panthers, 2-1, on Townsend Field in Williams Stadium.
Junior Niklas Martensson (Torna Hallestad, Sweden/NTI) scored off a free kick in the 19th minute for his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Wilmington’s second goal come courtesy a Hanover error as the Panthers tallied an own goal in the 33rd minute.
After putting the WC defense under immense pressure late in the second half, Hanover finally broke through with a goal in the 71st minute.
The Panthers had several more quality looks, but senior goalkeeper Chris Bourque (Batavia, OH/Batavia) came up big in the final 20 minutes. He finished with seven saves, five of which were in the first half to preserve Wilmington’s 2-nil advantage.
Hanover held the advantage on shots, launching 15 shots to WC’s eight, and the advantage with 11 corner kicks to Wilmington’s six.
“(Hanover) is a very good team,” said Wilmington head coach Bud Lewis. “They are very disciplined and very organized. They have a very dangerous striker, and is probably one of the best teams we have beaten this year. We got a 2-0 lead and just sat on it, instead of continuing to build.”
“The play of the game was Chris Bourque’s save on a set piece; that was fabulous,” said Lewis. “Not many keepers make that save. That is the biggest difference in our team this year is having a goalkeeper that can make that save.”
“We felt comfortable in the second half, and then they picked it up. I thought they were much crisper and more dangerous with their set pieces, and they were very unfortunate to not get the game tied.”
Wilmington (6-3-1) travels to John Carroll 7 p.m. Saturday to kick off Ohio Athletic Conference action.