Earlham’s first-minute goal leads men’s soccer past Defiance

Chima Ndukwu

RICHMOND, Ind. – Junior Chima Ndukwu's goal just 43 seconds into the match was all Earlham College men's soccer needed in a 1-0 victory over visiting Defiance College, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match on Wednesday at Matlack-Messer Stadium.

Playing on a water-logged field that had taken a full day of rain, Ndukwu ripped a shot off from just inside the top of the 18-yard box, surprising Defiance keeper Orry Killam who barely reacted on the play.

Over the remaining 89 minutes, the Quakers and the Yellow Jackets slipped, sloshed, and slid their way across the field, chasing a ball that rolled at times – floated at others.

Defiance finished the game with a 15-11 advantage in total shots, while Earlham had seven corner kicks to the Yellow Jackets' four. Killam registered six saves in the Defiance goal, while Earlham starter Henry Wildes and reserve Colin Kaurich each played a half in the Quakers' goal and shared the shutout. Wildes picked up the win with three saves over the opening 45 minutes, while Kaurich charted four saves in the second half.

Earlham improved to 4-11-2 overall with the win, the most victories for Earlham men's soccer since the 2016 campaign (6-11-0), and the first back-to-back wins since 2016. The Maroon and White improved to 3-5-0 in the HCAC. Defiance fell to 9-8-2 overall, 4-3-1 HCAC.

Earlham men's soccer will close out the 2019 season on Saturday, Nov. 2, when the Quakers host Manchester University. Game time is 3:30 p.m.