Wheaton blanks visiting Worcester State, 2-0, notches ninth shutout of fall
NORTON, MA- The regionally-ranked Wheaton College men's soccer team recorded its third straight shutout and ninth of the season during Wednesday afternoon's 2-0 victory over visiting Worcester State College in non-conference action at Keefe Field.
Receiving national votes and ranked fourth in the region according to this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) polls, the Lyons ran their series record against the Lancers to 6-2 while raising their overall record to 14-3-1. Worcester State dropped its second straight game to fall to 2-12-2.
Junior Josh Solomon (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional) was credited with the winner, as Wheaton held advantages of 18-4 in shots and 9-2 in corner kicks, while freshman Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, MA/Rivers School) picked up his first collegiate goal.
Junior Cole Davidson (Needham, MA/Salisbury School) turned aside a pair of first-half shots in earning his seventh shutout of the season, while junior Fred Groos (Floral Park, NY/Floral Park) had seven of Worcester State's eight stops, as the Lancers were credited with a team save in the second half.
After an uneventful first half that saw Wheaton double up the visitors in shots, 6-3, the Lyons broke through in the 56th minute, taking advantage of a Worcester State hand ball in the box. On the ensuing kick, Solomon drove his second game-winner opposite Groos and into the lower corner of the net.
From that point on, Wheaton upped its offensive pressure, with freshman Max Swanson (Lexington, MA/Lexington) nearly making it a 2-0 game with just over 30 minutes to go, but a diving fingertip save from Groos pushed the shot just left of the target. Not even two minutes later, Jeffrey took a cross from junior David Ferriero (Medway, MA/Medway) in the middle of the box and blasted a shot off a defender and into the back of the net at 60:18.
Just over two minutes after the Jeffrey strike, Solomon rifled a shot from just inside the box that smacked the crossbar and bounced out of harm's way. The Lyons controlled play in the second half, taking 12 of the stanza's 13 shots and six of the eight corners.
Wheaton's final two regular season games will be against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opponents, beginning with Saturday's bout versus visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at 1:00 p.m. The Lyons square off with a foe that bounced them from the semifinal round of the 2008 NEWMAC Tournament.