NEWARK, DE – The Firebirds scored a pair of goals less than three minutes apart in the second half to claim a 2-0 victory over Wilmington University , wrapping up the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
UDC (1-1), which was held scoreless in the first half despite an 8-2 advantage in shots and 10-1 advantage in corner kicks, broke through for two goals within the first 14 minutes of the second half and held on for a shutout victory thanks to five saves (all in the closing half) by sophomore goalkeeper Joao Brusamolin.
Wilmington (0-1-1) struggled to find a rhythm offensively all afternoon, but did use a flurry of late shots to narrow the margin, 10-9, for the game. Wildcat goalkeeper Vinny Tasca collected five saves through the first half to keep the game scoreless.
Following a pair of shots by WU early in the second half, the Firebirds countered and quickly covered the length of the field. Moving down the middle, sophomore midfielder Gabriel Velluto worked the ball ahead to sophomore midfielder Gabriel Torres, who then flicked the ball in over the top to senior forward Raphael Pacano. Finding himself alone with Tasca in the box, Pacano buried his first goal of the season to put UDC ahead, 1-0.
Moments later, the Firebirds were on the attack again as Torres was buried deep in the left corner. He managed a left-footed cross in front of the net which found a wide-open junior forward Kevin Ortez on the six-yard box for a one-time goal. UDC led 2-0 nearly just over 58 minutes into the match.
The Wildcats posted the last five shots of the contest following the Ortez goal, but Brusamolin and the Firebirds' back line were up to the task and preserved the shutout win.
The complete game shutout victory was Brusamolin's first of the season and 2nd of his career. Meanwhile, Torres finished the Wildcat Invite with two goals and two assists, and he now has 10 goals and five assists over his UDC career.
Next up, the Firebirds take on Lock Haven University on Wednesday, September 6th at 4 p.m.