Wilmington Takes Early Lead but Can’t Hang On Against Bridgeport, 3-2, in Women’s Soccer Action
WSoc: Bridgeport 3 - Wilmington 2
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Newark, Del.
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Sophomore Morgan Fraczkowski gave the Wildcats a first half lead over BridgeportSenior goalkeeper Amanda Walters made four saves against BridgeportSophomore Ashley Kroll scored her first goal of the season, closing the gap to 3-2, against Bridgeport
Looking to extend its winning streak to three games and move above .500 for the season, the Wilmington University women’s soccer team scored first, but couldn’t hang on as Bridgeport came back for a 3-2 victory at the new WU Athletics Complex on Thursday afternoon.
Controlling most of the possession and pace of play in the first half, Wilmington (2-3-1 overall) got on the board first in the 26th minute, but Bridgeport (1-3-1) scored three goals in the second half for its first win of the season.
Outshooting the Purple Knights, 7-4, in the first half, the Wildcats capitalized on their heavily favored possession and ball control in the first 25 minutes and scored first for the second game in a row.
Victoria Vasapolli made a run down the left sideline and turned a left-footed cross into a scoring opportunity for the Wildcats as the ball went over the Knights’ goalkeeper, Julia Hansson, and towards the far right post. The ball bounced off the front of the right post to a waiting Morgan Fraczkowski who one-timed it home for her second goal of the year 25:09 into the first half.
Following the halftime break, the momentum seemed to shift to Bridgeport, as the Knights came out and took the first punch, 3:19 into the second stanza. Danielle Puddefoot sent a cross in from the left side, finding an open Julia Colley on the back post who knotted the game with a header, beating wildcat goalkeeper Amanda Walters for the goal.
Sixteen minutes later, a through ball sent Asia Pulse through for a one-on-one with Walters from 40 yards outs. Just as the Wildcats’ defender Monica Weil got to the ball, Pulse, Weil and Walters all met at once and the ball snuck to a trailing Puddefoot who tapped it in for the 2-1 lead. It was Puddefoot’s team leading third goal of the season with 25:38 remaining on the scoreboard.
Unable to gain the momentum back, the Wildcats failed to clear a Bridgeport corner from their own 18-yard box, and the Knights’ Gillian Munro settled the clear and took a shot from 10 yards out to move the visitors up 3-1 with 18:40 left to play.
Needing a quick strike to turn the momentum, the Wildcats got what they ordered off the foot of sophomore forward Ashley Kroll. Thirty seconds after falling behind 3-1, Wilmington put pressure on in the Knights’ penalty box and was rewarded. After Bridgeport was unable to clear the ball out, Kroll knocked the ball down, got around one defender and blasted a shot from 15 yards out for her first goal of the season.
But that is all the Wildcats could scrap off the Knights, as Bridgeport kicked the final corner of the contest and controlled the ball for the final 18 minutes, as neither team recorded a shot.
Walters made four saves in goal for the Wildcats, playing all 90 minutes, while Hansson needed to make three saves for the Knights for her first victory of the year.
Wilmington outshot the Knights, 11-10, but Bridgeport led the advantage in corners, 5-4, for the game.
The Wildcats will remain at home for the second of three consecutive contests at the new WU Athletics Complex on Saturday as they get back to the CACC schedule. The Wildcats are 2-0 in the CACC.
Saturday is the first annual Wilmington University Homecoming Weekend as the Wildcats will host Bloomfield starting at 12 p.m. The men’s soccer team will follow with a 2:30 p.m. matchup also against Bloomfield.