NORTON, MA- Senior Tyler Ostholthoff's (Hopkinton, NH/Hopkinton) tally near the end of the first half held up as the game-winner, propelling the Wheaton College men's soccer team past Roger Williams University, 1-0 on Sunday at Keefe Field.
At 5-0-1, the Lyons are off to their best start since beginning 2001 with 10 straight wins. Wheaton stands sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) New England poll while improving to 11-0-3 all time against the Hawks. Roger Williams, which is receiving votes in the regional poll, suffered its first regulation loss in slipping to 3-3.
Junior Chris Smart (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) went untested in net to earn the shutout for the hosts, who held advantages of 21-8 in shots and 9-1 in corner kicks. For Roger Williams, junior Peter Plate (Commack, NY/Saint Anthony's) turned aside seven shots.
Wheaton controlled possession for the majority of the contest, including when it had advantages of 8-1 in shots and 6-0 in corners during the first half. Sophomore Conor Finn (Kennebunk, ME/Kennebunk) had an opportunity in the 14th minute, bending a shot toward the far post that Plate dove to get a piece of.
In the 34th minute, the Lyons served a ball from the right side into the box, where Plate came out to smother the cross before losing his grasp. With the ball nearing the goal line, a Hawk defender challenged senior Adam Sussman (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott) for possession, and the ball trickled to the left post and Ostholthoff, who knocked it into an open net.
The Blue and White had a couple golden opportunities to build upon its lead in the second half, but Roger Williams field players squelched both. During the 78th minute, Wheaton junior back David Ferriero (Medway, MA/Medway) ran onto a cross, sending the ball beyond a charging Plate and toward the open net, but junior Kevin Hand (Wilton, CT/Wilton) cleared the shot out of the goal mouth. With five minutes left, Finn deflected a pass over Plate, but a Hawk teammate made another stop, and Plate recovered the loose ball.
Roger Williams' final chance came with 1:30 remaining, as Hand redirected a teammate's entry feed over the crossbar after a corner kick.
Wheaton is back in action Wednesday for a non-conference contest in Rhode Island at Johnson & Wales University at 3:30 p.m.