WILMINGTON – The Wilmington College men’s soccer team battled through a consistent rainstorm Saturday to defeat Denison University 3-1 in the final game of the 2018 Kiwanis Classic held at Williams Stadium.
The Fightin’ Quakers nearly struck for a goal in the opening three minutes as the hosts drew a foul in the box. Unfortunately, Niklas Martensson’s penalty kick was saved by Denison goalkeeper Dylan Brown.
Martensson would get a chance to redeem himself, however. Gabriel Nygard broke free down the flank of the Denison defense in the 35th minute. He sent a pass to Nati Wallis, who promptly flicked it back with his heel, completing a near perfect give-and-go pass. Nygard then sent a cross to the far post where Martensson was waiting. The senior hit a header across the grain to other post, beating Brown for the game’s first goal.
Wilmington took the 1-0 lead into halftime, but it did not take long to for the Quakers to double their lead. Two-and-half minutes into the second half, Martensson curled a through ball past the Big Red defense. Leon Tank beat Brown to the spot and fired a low shot that caught the side netting for the second goal of the game.
Trailing 2-0, it was Denison’s turn to draw a foul in the box, and Lucas Lilley converted the penalty kick in the 60th minute to get the Big Red within a goal. The visitors would fire five more shots in the game, but none could break through the Wilmington defense, anchored by goalkeeper Felix Maurer. In the 89th minute, Denison committed a foul to avoid a Wilmington counter attack. Daniel Kappelin quickly fired a low shot to the near post before the Big Reds’ defense was setup to clinch the game for Wilmington.
David Anderson took home Most Valuable Player honors for Kenyon. Joining him on the All-Tournament team were Philippe Stengel of Kenyon, Niklas Martensson of Wilmington, Dylan Brown of Denison and Garrett Miller of Adrian.
Kenyon College, which defeated Adrian College 4-0 in Saturday’s first game, won the 2018 Kiwanis Classic with a 2-0 record. Wilmington and Denison finished 1-1 while Adrian posted a record of 0-2.
Wilmington (2-2-0) returns to action at Hanover College Wednesday. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.
On Friday, No. 22 Kenyon College defeated Wilmington 4-0 in the tournament.
Kenyon (2-0-1) fired four shots in the first 40 minutes, but the Wilmington defense was up to the challenge, blocking two of the them and Felix Maurer saved another. The Lords finally broke through when Jack Cohen sent a cross into the box that found the head of Thomas Munoz Reyes, who’s header beat Maurer for the game’s first goal.
Wilmington was outshot 8-2 in the first 45 minutes, but got to the halftime break trailing by just a goal. Leading 2-0, the Lords added three goals in 20 minutes. .