WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's soccer team won its first Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament game in 15 seasons on Tuesday, avenging a regular season defeat with a 2-1 triumph over Capital University at Williams Stadium.
With the win, the Fightin' Quakers, who are the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will travel to No. 2 Marietta College for a semifinal game on Thursday evening.
"I'm really proud of the group for getting over the nerves in this game as we've never been in this type of game before," Head Coach Alex Van der Sluijs said. "Once we settled in, I thought it was a great soccer game from both teams."
Capital, which has qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament has recently as 2018, looked like the better side in the first 30 minutes, firing five of the game's first six shots. The Fightin' Quakers' defense and goalkeeper Felix Maurer withstood the attack, however, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.
As Van der Sluijs said, Wilmington seemed to settle in as the game went on, and it would be the Quakers that would strike first. In the 39th minute, Ryan Forino, who checked in less than five minutes before, fed a pass to Ian Molfenter on the near sideline of Townsend Field. Molfenter sent a shot towards the far post that fooled Capital goalkeeper Kellen Sargent for the only goal of the first half.
Trailing 1-0, the Crusaders answered 10 minutes into the second half. Jack Kossoudji sent a low shot towards the far post from just outside the 18-yard box. Maurer got a hand on it with a diving save, but Jack Francisco pounced on the rebound for his sixth goal of the year that tied the game.
Ten minutes later, it was the Quakers' turn to fire a low shot. Zach Burgmeier found Yusef Muqtadir down the near sideline. Muqtadir took a couple of dribbles inside and fired a howitzer from 35-yards out that beat Sargent for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Capital would play the final 10 minutes down a man as Kossoudji was sent off via a second yellow card.
"Our guys fought and fought and did what we needed to do to win," said Van der Sluijs. "It shows the dedication and commitment this group has to each other and this program."
Capital finished with 16 shots compared to Wilmington's nine, but Maurer saved 6-of-7 on goal to earn the win. Muqtadir took four shots for the Quakers while Francisco and Kossoudji both fired four for the Crusaders.
Wilmington improves to 7-3-0 on the season with the win. The semifinal game at Marietta is slated to begin at 7 p.m.