PROVIDENCE, RI- Junior forward Josh Solomon's (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional) first career hat trick carried the nationally-ranked Wheaton College men's soccer team to a 6-2 victory at non-league foe Johnson & Wales University on Wednesday at Pierce Stadium.
Ranked 19th in the country and third regionally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the Lyons remained unbeaten at 6-0-1 while tallying their highest road goal total since scoring seven at Rivier College on September 28, 2004. The Wildcats suffered their fifth consecutive loss to start the season.
Solomon, who recently returned from injury, notched his first points of the season after racking up 14 goals and 17 assists as an underclassman. Junior Jake Wagner (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) contributed a goal and an assist, while sophomore Matt Flaherty (Westlake Village, CA/Worcester Academy) and freshman Max Swanson (Lexington, MA/Lexington) scored their first collegiate goals.
Junior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) and freshman Federico Kelly (Hingham, MA/Hingham) each added an assist, with Kelly's going down as his first point as a collegian. Junior goalie Chris Smart (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) made three saves for the Lyons, who held advantages of 26-7 in shots and 7-2 in corner kicks.
After a Wildcat goal in the fourth minute, Wheaton responded with five unanswered goals, including a natural hat trick by Solomon, to put the game out of reach. Solomon tallied unassisted at 19:34, scored on a Moreira cross at 47:02 and put home his own rebound at 56:29 for a 3-1 Lyon advantage.
Swanson converted a penalty kick at 67:48, and Kelly fed Wagner for Wheaton's fifth goal at 76:03. The Wildcats made it a 5-2 game just 3:56 later before Flaherty headed in a throw-in from Wagner at 83:23 to complete the scoring.
The Lyons will turn their attention to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), beginning with Saturday's game at Springfield College at 12:00 p.m.