The Wildcats opened their final stretch of games this season with a 18-9 win over Central Christian College on Thursday afternoon.
The first shot of the game went wide from Central Christian as the visiting Tigers tried to get their offense going early. After a good clear form the 'Cats, Matthew Sening (Centerville, Va.) passed a ball into Jonathan MacCord (Franklin, Tenn.) who put it past the CCC keeper to give JWU the 1-0 lead. The 'Cats doubled their lead on the next possession with Deshaunte Longley (Bronx, N.Y.) picking up the assist on Coleton Threlkeld's (Cypress, Texas) goal. With the early lead, Johnson & Wales started to find some momentum but saw their shots go wide and high. Longley added two more goals for the 'Cats as Johnson & Wales led 4-0 with 8:42 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats took a 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
The Tigers broke through in the second quarter to cut the Wildcat's lead to five goals with 11:52 left in the half. The midpoint of the quarter saw a slowdown in both team's offense as their shots were off target. The two sides traded a pair of goals each in the final four minutes as JWU took a 10-5 lead into the break.
In the third, Johnson & Wales slowed the tempo of their offense before Malachi Cunningham (Denver, Colo.) broke through at 7:44, taking a pass from Longley and putting it past CCC's keeper. JWU kept their foot on the pedal and extended their lead to 13-7. Nicholas Botnick (Auburn, N.H.) and Longley each had a goal to start the fourth with Threlkeld assisting on each. MacCord added his second of the game midway through the fourth and Botnick found the back of the net for his second as JWU's offense again took over. JWU led 18-7 late in the game before CCC's Greg Awa-Moppert bagged a pair of goals in the final 1:12 but Johnson & Wales captured the 18-9 victory.
Longley and Threlkeld each had six goals for Johnson & Wales and Sening picked up five assists. Casey Carrigan (Littleton, Colo.) had nine ground balls for Johnson & Wales. Wiley Cates (Montclair, N.J.) had seven saves for Johnson & Wales in the win.
The Wildcats will host University of Northwestern - St. Paul on Friday at 5:00 pm at Aurora Sports Park.