The Wilmington College men’s soccer team won its first home game of the season Sunday, beating Wittenberg, 2-1, in non-conference action during the 2015 Wilmington Kiwanis Classic at Townsend Field.
With the win, Wilmington snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 2-4 on the season. The Fightin’ Quakers return to action 7 p.m. Wednesday, traveling to Transylvania.
“I think our guys were really focused today,” said Wilmington head coach Bud Lewis. “It really started in the first half. There were a lot of things that I liked. I made the comment, we will have six opponents like that in the OAC, where it’s real hard working, good effort, and you have to see which team can accomplish scoring goals and keeping the ball out of their net.”
Freshman Nick Latessa (Englewood, OH/Northmont) stood tall between the pipes, making six saves on seven shots. For his efforts, he was named to the all-tournament team.
Joining him on the team for the Fightin’ Quakers were Jesse Buhrman (Westlake, OH/Westlake) and sophomore Nils Asteberg (Ojersjo, Sweden/Porthalla Gymnasium).
“I think we had outstanding play for (Burhman) and Asteberg, and solid play from Ethan (Zimpfer) in the defensive midfielder role. Those three guys collectively played real well for us.”
Wilmington took the early lead as freshman Treshaun Pate (Cincinnati, OH/Princeton) scored his first career goal in the 30th minute. Freshman Niklas Martensson (Torna Hallestad, Sweden/NTI) beat his defender down the left side and played a ball across the box that Pate slipped into the back of the goal.
The Tigers netted the equalizer late in the first half as a rebounded shot found its way into the goal.
Much like the first goal in its execution, not the players, senior Nick Toney (Morrow, OH/Little Miami) tallied the game-winner as freshman Daniel Kappelin (Pixbo, Sweden/IHGR) beat a defender down the left side and slid his pass in front of the goal box for Toney to chip in.
NOTES: 2015 Wilmington Kiwanis All-Tournament Team (Maryville earns 2015 Kiwanis Championship)
Caleb Lewis, Cody VanKershaever, Jon Taylor, Thomas Palmer (Maryville); Nick Latessa, Jesse Buhrman, Nils Asteberg (Wilmington); Austin Lewis, Cameron Ferguson, Alberto Gonzalez (Wittenberg); Jesse Massucco, Noah DeHart (Berea)
On Saturday, Wilmington College faced an uphill battle and fell to Maryville Saturday, 2-1, in the 2015 Kiwanis Classic.
The Scots took the lead with a goal in just the sixth minute, and then added another goal in the 26th minute to double their advantage.
“Maryville scored a goal early on, and they exposed our defensive shape,” said Lewis. “Five minutes in and we are already down 1-nil. This is a team that is just starting to learn to play with the energy and emotion that you need to have to be successful. We are doing the work without the emotion and without the commitment to play hard. That was one of the differences in the second half. We started playing with the extra effort, both offensively and defensively.”
While Maryville dominated the first 45 minutes, and took a 2-0 lead into the half, the Fightin’ Quakers quickly got themselves back into the contest early in the second half. Freshman Benny Spirk (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) scored on a deflected save in the 51st minute.
“It was a great run by (Jesse Buhrman) and a good shot by Niklas (Martensson),” said Lewis. “The goalkeeper made a great deflection and Benny finished it.”
Wilmington continued to apply the pressure offensively, and freshman goalkeeper Nick Latessa (Englewood, OH/Northmont) enabled the Fightin’ Quakers to stay within striking distance. He finished with 10 saves, four in the second half, on 12 shots.
“His second half was just stellar,” said Lewis. “You can’t ask for any more out of a goalkeeper.”