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WC, JCU vie for first round bye

October 26, 2012

Senior Jesse Ingels will be playing in his final regular season game a Charlie Gilhart Field.

Senior Jesse Ingels will be playing in his final regular season game a Charlie Gilhart Field.

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington College men’s soccer team has already secured its spot in the OAC tournament that starts next week, now the Fightin’ Quakers are playing for a first round bye.

“It’s a result of good work, good results,” said head coach Bud Lewis. “We have shown improvement throughout the season. I think our non-conference schedule really prepared us for conference play.”

After a four-year hiatus, WC returned to the postseason last season and will be looking to improve its status in the league. Wilmington lost 1-0 in the first round of the tournament last season.

The Fightin’ Quakers are hosting John Carroll 4:30 p.m. Saturday as both teams have their sights set on the automatic trip to the semifinals. In the competitive OAC, having to play one less game could be pivotal.

“Anyone can beat any team,” said Lewis. “It’s pretty tough, (teams) two through 10 are all competitive. I think our first four games going into overtime reflect that. We were fortunate enough to win three of them. A win would help out a great deal. Having time to rest and prepare is a very important factor.”

After going on a seven-match unbeaten streak, Wilmington has lost two of their last three. They will be facing a John Carroll team that Lewis said was “a mirror image” of the Fightin’ Quakers. John Carroll has claimed eight straight in the series.

“It’s a team that we struggled against the last few years,” said Lewis. “We’ve just failed to execute. They are very athletic and put you under pressure. It you make a bad mistake, they will punish you for it. We need to be able to match their level of intensity and keep the ball of the back of the net.”

The game will also mark the final regular season home match for senior Jesse Ingels.