WILMINGTON – Senior Niklas Martensson scored a hat trick propelling the Wilmington College men’s soccer team to a 7-0 shutout victory over the University of Cincinnati Clermont College at Williams Stadium Tuesday evening.
The win was the first for WC head coach Alex Van der Sluijs.
“It’s emotional,” said Van der Sluijs, the 2007 alumnus, on his first win as head coach. “I had so many great moments here as a player, and to have this moment as a coach is pretty special.”
Benny Spirk kicked things off with a goal 4:10 into the contest as he headed home a loose ball in the box. Martensson followed with a penalty kick goal just less than three minutes later and scored his second goal off a pass from Mitch Solle in the 28th minute.
Leading 3-0, Daniel Kappelin took a Christina Minutella pass and found the back of the next shortly before halftime as the Fightin’ Quakers were up 4-0 at halftime.
Wilmington kept up the offensive pressure in the second half as Nati Wallis broke through the Cougar defense in the 52nd minute. He sent a low cross through the box that found the foot of Spirk at the far post, who made the score 5-0. Minutella got in the goal column with an unassisted tally in the 59th minute. Just more than a minute later, Martensson completed his hat trick, scoring the game’s final goal off another Minutella pass at the 59:37 mark.
The Quakers outshot the Cougars 39-10 in the contest including holding a 23-6 edge in shots on goal. Felix Maurer picked up his first collegiate victory in net for Wilmington, making five saves. Ethan Butcher preserved the shutout, finishing the last 19:14 in change.
When asked about his opening thoughts on tonight’s game, Van der Sluijs said, “It was good to see us play with a more fluent attack then we did in our game last Friday [at Thomas More College]. “We will build off the good things from this game and learn from the bad. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.
Wilmington (1-1-0) will host the Kiwanis Classic Friday and Saturday. The Quakers will take on nationally-ranked Kenyon College Friday followed by Denison University Saturday. Both games are slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wilmington athletic communications student assistant Ysmeen Jilani contributed to this story.