Wilmington– The Wilmington Women’s Soccer team took on the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets on Saturday, October 7th at Williams Stadium. The Quakers were looking to bounce back after a 2-1 loss on the road, at the hand of the Capital Crusaders earlier in the week.
Both teams had early scoring opportunities in the first half, but neither side was able to take advantage of their early opportunities. The game became very physical near the end of an evenly played first half.
With 3:34 left in the first half, Baldwin Wallace defender, Lauren Haynam scored on a free kick from the 20-yard line. This gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 over the Quakers.
At halftime, Baldwin Wallace led by a score of 1-0.
In the second half, Wilmington was finally able to breakthrough and capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Less than 20 minutes into the second half, senior Wilmington defender, Mellonee Hall scored on free kick from 11 yards out. This was Hall’s first career goal and it tied the game at 1-1 with 27:38 left in the second half. “I scored my first collegiate goal tonight, I think scoring that was a good up lift for the team and gave us momentum for the second half,” said Hall. Hall’s goal gave the Quakers momentum and they were able to carry that momentum late into the second half
The physicality of the game increased as the game went on each team was fighting hard for the ball on each possession. Wilmington head coach Steve Spirk said, “We knew it was going to be physical, we played this team last year and they were very physical at their place. So, instead of waiting for them to be physical, we came out of the gate physical and I think that is the way it needed to start.”
Wilmington was very aggressive in the second half and they were able to get multiple shots on goal. This aggression paid off late in the second half, as the Quakers drew a foul in the 82nd minute and lined up for a free kick. Junior midfielder Hanna Greaney shot a 47-yard free kick right through the hands of the opposing keeper. This goal gave Wilmington a 2-1 lead with only eight minutes remaining in the contest.
The Quakers were able to hold on to the lead and won the game by a score of 2-1. This victory gave Wilmington their first OAC win of the season and gave coach Steve Spirk win #299.
““I was very pleased with our effort, we had a good game plan going into the match. Even though we got down, the team stayed strong and came back in the second half.” – Steve Spirk, Women’s Soccer Coach
“I was very pleased with our effort, we had a good game plan going into the match. Even though we got down, the team stayed strong and came back in the second half. I knew winning the second half would be in our favor, so once we got that tying goal I felt confident we were going to win,” said Spirk.
Mellonee Hall and the entire back line of the Wilmington defense did a great job of stopping Baldwin Wallace from taking advantage of any opportunities. “Number 11 was their best player and they went through her a lot. We knew had to try and shut her down and I felt confident that Mel could do it. Mel was the man of the match today,” said Spirk.
Hall used her senior leadership and experience to help lead her team to victory. Coach Spirk will look for win #300 in the Quakers next contest at Otterbein, on Tuesday, October 7th.
In other Wilmington sports news from the weekend, the Wilmington Men’s Soccer team finished in a 3-3 tie against Baldwin Wallace, in a game that went to overtime. The Wilmington Volleyball team fell in straight sets at home to Baldwin Wallace on Saturday. Wilmington’s football team traveled to Berea, Ohio to take on the Yellow Jackets and came up short, losing to Baldwin Wallace by a score of 38-21.