Nov. 11, 2009

Courtesy WingateBulldogs.com

Charlotte, N.C. - The Wingate University men's soccer team battled heavy rains and cold 30-plus MPH winds to take a 4-0 victory over Flagler (Fla.) College Wednesday night in the first round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Region tournament at Mallard Creek Stadium at Mallard Creek High School. The contest was moved to Mallard Creek's turf field due to heavy rains at Wingate's Pride Park.

With the victory, Wingate improves to 13-4-1 overall. The Bulldogs win their first NCAA Division II play-off match (in three tries). Wingate will face Southeast Region number one seed Lees-McRae College Friday night at 7 p.m. in the second round. The Flagler Saints complete the 2009 season 14-6-2 overall.

Bulldog sophomore midfielder Felippe Imperatriz (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored two goals for the number four seed Wingate side. Junior All-American midfielder Luke Mulholland (Preston, England) and junior forward Jamie McKenna (Blackpool, England) added goals for victors.

Wingate junior midfielder Jack Vundum (Birmingham, England) helped set the table for the Bulldogs' first goal in the seventh minute. The All-SAC performer split two defenders and found himself in the open field with only Flagler junior goalkeeper Matt Gilman (Ocala, Fla.) to beat. Vundum's left-to-right shot was tipped by Gilman and collected by Mulholland for his 16th goal of the season and South Atlantic Conference-leading eighth match-winner this year.

The Bulldogs converted another rebound opportunity for their second goal. Wingate freshman midfielder Gui Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil) fired a shot on goal. Gilman made the save, but McKenna was in the right place at the right time to give Wingate a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute. McKenna has six goals this season.

Wingate's third goal was assisted by Mother Nature. Imperatriz hit a corner kick into a swirling wind. Gilman did not have a chance, as the ball squirted over his head and into the back of the nets in the 53rd minute. Imperatriz put the icing on the cake in the 80th minute with a blast from 25 yards out.

The Bulldogs filled up the statistics sheet with 15 shots and eight shots on goal. The Saints had 10 shots and six shots on goal. Four of Flagler's shots on goal occurred in the final 10 minutes of play. Wingate junior goalkeeper Joey Calandra (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) posted his second shutout of the season with four saves. He played 90 minutes. Gilman also went the distance between the pipes. He allowed four goals and recorded four saves.