Wheaton suffers 1-0 setback in battle of perennial NEWMAC powers

BABSON PARK, MA- The nationally-ranked Wheaton College men's soccer team slipped against defending New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament champion Babson College, 1-0 on Saturday on Hartwell-Rogers Field.

The Lyons dropped to 11-3-1 overall and 2-1 in the league, as each of their setbacks this season has come by a single goal. Wheaton is ranked 22nd in Division III and third in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), while the Beavers are tied for 10th in the regional poll. Babson is now 8-4-1 and 3-0.

In a match-up of two teams that have combined for the past nine league tournament crowns, Wheaton held advantages of 22-12 in shots and 11-2 in corner kicks. Junior keeper Cole Davidson (Needham, MA/Salisbury School) made six saves for the Lyons, who were competing in their only game between October 5 and 16. Babson sophomore Peter Crowley (Lexington, MA/Brooks School) had nine stops.

Wheaton posted five straight corner kicks during a stretch of a little less than 13 minutes during the opening half but had only one shot to show for it, though the Lyons eventually totaled six consecutive shots after Babson notched the first try of the contest.

During the 38th minute, Davidson denied sophomore Max Walker (Newton, MA/Buckingham Browne & Nichols), but the rebound found freshman Eric Anderson (Scituate, MA/Rivers School), who notched the lone marker of the contest at 37:34.

From there, the Lyons took 11 of the game's next 12 shots. Freshman Federico Kelly (Hingham, MA/Hingham) hit the post in the 44th minute, and senior Adam Sussman's (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott) header was turned aside by a tremendous play from Crowley in the 55th minute. Junior Josh Solomon (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional) nearly knotted the contest in the 81st minute, as his shot went over Crowley but clipped the crossbar, and the ball was cleared out of danger by a Babson player.

Wheaton is in action next Saturday at Clark University for a 1:00 p.m. NEWMAC game.

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