Quakers fall to Mount Union in OAC Tournament
Raiders win, 1-0
October 31, 2011
Jacob Spirk (center) works through a double team during Wilmington's OAC Tournament game with Mount Union.
The curtain fell on Wilmington College’s season with a 1-0 loss to Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinal at Charlie Gilhart Field Monday night.
The No. 4 seed Quakers end the campaign at 11-7-1. Fifth-seed Mount Union will take a 10-7-2 record to Ada on Wednesday to face No. 1 Ohio Northern in a semifinal-round match.
“I give Mount Union a lot of credit. They came down here twice this year and we didn’t score a goal on them, and they found a way to win both times,” Wilmington head coach Bud Lewis said. “That’s disappointing because I thought we created enough chances tonight that we would have scored one or two goals.”
Wilmington’s best chances came in the first half as the Quakers hit 13 shots, but only put one on frame. Mount Union came up empty on four shots and the game was scoreless at the break.
The Purple Raiders broke the ice in the 54th minute when Chris Motley took a short Wilmington clearance and sent a cross into the box. Thomas Beck was on the other end and headed the ball into the Wilmington net for his 12th goal of the season.
The Quakers created chances in the flow and with set pieces, but struggled to frame their shots. Wilmington took eight shots in the second half, none of which were on goal. For the game, Wilmington out-shot Mount Union, 21-9, but the Raiders put four shots on goal to Wilmington’s one.
“We just weren’t composed in the final third,” Lewis said. “We had really good set pieces, but we didn’t have anybody step up and put the ball in the back of the net. That ultimately was our undoing, particularly after they got the lead.”
Despite the sting of the loss, Wilmington left its home pitch well aware that the 2011 season had made the Quakers relevant again in the OAC soccer world.
“Antonio Trujillo said in the huddle that we have really made a turnaround in our program with what we’ve been able to do. I thought that was a great comment that he made as a player,” Lewis said. “I am very, very pleased with how we have got back on track, both in the wins-loss column and in the conference. It’s just disappointing to lose when you know that you are on the cusp. We’re young, but I’m not willing to use that as an excuse. This was an important year for us to re-establish our presence on the field and to know that you are going to have to play very well to beat us. I hope that we can continue to build on that.”