Elton Joe Sends Wilmington Men’s Soccer to Thrilling Double Overtime Victory, 2-1, over Franklin Pierce in Season Opener
MSoc: Wilmington 2 - Franklin Pierce 1
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - Rindge, N.H.
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Junior Elton Joe makes one last touch before firing in the game-winning goal in the second overtime to launch Wilmington to a 2-1 victory over Franklin Pierce on September 5. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: James JonesSenior Tommy Quaranta tallied the game's first goal and added an assist on the game-winner at Franklin Pierce on Thursday night. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: James JonesCopyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: James Jones
A scrappy match to open the 2013 men’s soccer season went in favor of visiting Wilmington University, 2-1, over Franklin Pierce on Thursday, September 5, as newcomer Elton Joe gave the Wildcats the victory in the seventh minute of double overtime at Sodexo Field.
Both Joe (Baltimore, Md.) and Tommy Quaranta (Baltimore, Md.) led the Wildcats (1-0 overall) on Thursday night, each recording a goal and an assist. Franklin Pierce (0-1 overall) outshot the Wildcats, 24-7, for the match but the shots on goal were closer to level with the Ravens only holding a slight 8-6 lead.
The Wildcats got off to a fast start in the opener, getting off three of the first five shots of the match, the final which resulted in the season’s first goal.
Dribbling down the left side of the field, Quaranta fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box, beating Raven goalkeeper Sam Meza low to his left side only 8:49 into the contest.
Franklin Pierce, who has been in the past 10 NCAA Tournaments, carried the momentum the rest of the first half, outshooting the Wildcats 14-4 through the first 45 minutes of action. Starting keeper Spyros Stergiotis made five saves in the first half to secure the 1-0 lead at the break.
Following halftime, the Ravens continued to pour on the shots in the early going of the second stanza, registering the first five of the half including one that reached the back of the net. On a corner in the 67th minute, Franklin Pierce’s Ryan Ruffing headed home a corner from Gareth Dudney to knot the game at one a piece.
After a keeper change in the 72nd minute, the Wildcats’ Frank Hall recorded one save the rest of regulation to keep the game at 1-1. Franklin Pierce outshot the Wildcats, 7-2, in the second half.
Heading to overtime, Wilmington recorded a pair of corner kicks in the first 10 minutes but was unable to register a shot. After a scoreless first overtime, the Wildcats recorded the only shot they would need in the two overtime periods, and it came in the 107th minute. Joe collected a loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box, turned and fired a shot to the lower left side of Meza, beating him to the same side once again.
Joe’s game winner welcomed him back to the attacking third of the field after he was an NJCAA All-American defender at CCBC Essex last season.
Hall played the final 34:54 of the match to pick up his first collegiate victory in goal for the Wildcats, recording a save in the process. Meza falls to 0-1 on the year, making four saves on the night. Joe recorded a team high three shots, all on-goal, for the Wildcats while Kris Michael, Quaranta, Geoff Velasquez, and Jordon Ellison rounded out the Wilmington shots with one each.
The Wildcats return for their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and home opener on Tuesday, September 10 against Felician. The opening draw is set for 4 p.m. at the WU Athletics Complex.