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Nurnberger’s Goal Helps Wilmington Hold Off Holy Family, 3-2, in Pivotal CACC Men’ Soccer Match

MSoc: Wilmington 3 - Holy Family 2

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - Newark, Del.

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Sophomore Pedro Moreira Got the Wildcats going with a goal in the first half with a header off a corner against Holy Family. File Photo By Anastasia Kincaid



Freshman Lance Berry made it 2-0 with a header off a corner early in the second half against Holy Family. File Photo by James Jones



Senior Kresimir Nurnberger assisted on each of the first two goals before adding his own goal early in the second half against Holy Family. File Photo by James Jones

A frantic final 10 minutes put a scare into the Wilmington University men’s soccer team, but the Wildcats hung on in the end as they outlasted Holy Family, 3-2, in a pivotal Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference match on Thursday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.

The win gave Wilmington (9-7, 5-5 CACC) three points in the CACC standings and allowed them to leapfrog Holy Family (7-6-2, 4-4-1 CACC) into a three way tie for third overall heading into their final CACC match. The Wildcats are tied with Caldwell, who they play on the road on Saturday, and Philadelphia with 15 points.

Wilmington jumped all over the Tigers in the beginning of the second half, putting two goals on the board in the first six and a half minutes to open a 3-0 lead, looking as if the Wildcats would ease to another CACC victory.

Freshman Lance Berry gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead on a header off a corner kick from Kresimir Nurnberger 2:36 into the second half. It was the second time the Wildcats scored off a corner in the match, as Pedro Moreira put the Wildcats on the board in the same fashion off a corner from Nurnberger midway through the first half. Moreira and Berry remain tied for the team lead with five goals each.

Barely three minutes later, Nurnberger called his own number with a goal, receiving a connecting pass from Ray Kuemmer and Otis Williams inside the box for his third goal of the season and the 3-0 lead.

The visitors did not roll over however, as the Tigers responded with back-to-back goals, cutting into the lead while only 1:03 ticked off the scoreboard.

Barely 25 seconds after the Wildcats opened a 3-0 lead, the Tigers’ Justin Massaro put Holy Family on the board with an unassisted goal. Before the crowd knew what hit them, the Tigers cut it to a one goal game only 38 seconds later on another goal from Massaro off an assist from Dodji Freitas with 37:33 remaining in the contest.

The Wildcats had multiple opportunities as the second half wound down, including an attempt by Williams where he had the Tigers’ goalkeeper on the ground behind him but his shot was saved off the line by Holy Family’s Kevan Melly with 16:30 left on the clock.

The final 10 minutes of the match came with a side of anxiety for the home team, as the Tigers’ put the pressure on for the tying goal. With 8:36 left in the match, it looked as though the Tigers tied the match as Massaro slammed home a rebound by Nicolas Delgado but was whistled offsides on the side, wiping the tying goal off the scoreboard. Delgado received a red-card and was ejected following the call, forcing the Tigers to finish the match with 10-men.

But that did not stop the Tigers from pressuring the home squad down to the final second, as the visitors earned their fourth and final corner kick of the match with 10 seconds remaining. Freitas played the ball quickly to the middle of the 18-yard box and Alex Bilay got a head on it, but sailed it high as the final buzzer sounded.

Spyros Stergiotis moved to 7-2 in goal for the Wildcats, making four saves in the victory. Holy Family goalkeeper Kelly Diaz made three stops, including one late on a one-on-one with Musa Wiah to keep the Tigers in the match, in the loss.

Wilmington outshot the Tigers, 18-11 for the match, including a 10-7 advantage in the second half.

The Wildcats can determine their CACC Tournament fate this Saturday at Caldwell, their final CACC match of the regular season. A win on Saturday and the Wildcats are in with tournament seeding yet to be determined.

The road match is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. but could change due to potential storms in the Caldwell, N.J. area. Be sure to check www.wilmu.edu/athletics and Twitter: @WilmUAthletics for the up-to-date news if the games will be moved.