WILMINGTON, Ohio – Senior Benny Spirk scored the game's only goal in the 79th minute giving the Wilmington College men's soccer team a 1-0 victory over defending Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) champions Otterbein University at Williams Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Fightin' Quakers earned a free kick just inside their own half field after the Cardinals were called for offsides. Ludwig Lantz sent a cross to the top of the 18 just has he had done several other times in the game. Otterbein's goalkeeper, Andrew McIlvoy, came off his line to punch the cross away from danger, just as he had earlier in the contest. McIlvoy missed the ball, however, and it was headed back to the feet of Spirk, who fired a low shot with his left foot through traffic for the game-winning goal.
"Tonight was back and forth all game and a great battle from both teams," Head Men's Soccer Coach Alex Van der Sluijs said after the game. "We did a great job staying composed throughout the entire 90 minutes."
Otterbein, which beat Wilmington 5-1 at Williams Stadium in 2017, had its chances to score. In the 23rd minute, Thompson Birch cleared a Nathan Neal header off the line. Early in the second half, Felix Maurer deflected an Eric Stucky shot just over the crossbar. After Spirk's goal, the Cardinals had two shots from inside the 18-yard box with under a minute to play, but the Quaker defense got in front of both shots.
In the end, Otterbein held a 10-9 edge in shots as well as an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks, but Wilmington put five shots on net compared to three for the Cardinals. Maurer improved to 8-6-0 on the season with his third shutout of the year.
Wilmington (8-6-0, 3-3-0 OAC) currently sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the OAC with three games to play. The Quakers host Baldwin Wallace University for a 7 p.m. contest on Saturday evening.