NORTON, MA- Junior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) scored two second-half goals during a 7:48 span, pushing regionally-ranked Wheaton College to a 2-0 win on Saturday over Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) during New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's soccer action on Senior Day at Keefe Field. This afternoon also marked the regular season finale for both teams.
Ranked fourth in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Wheaton begins next week's NEWMAC Tournament as the second seed, as the Lyons will host either Clark University or Springfield College in a first-round game on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Winners of five straight games, Wheaton is 16-3-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play. WPI, which slipped to 9-6-1 and 2-3-1, awaits its postseason fate.
Moreira tallied his 14th and 15th goals of the season in the 69th and 76th minutes, respectively, as Wheaton controlled play throughout with advantages of 17-2 in shots and 9-2 in corner kicks. Moreira's 15 goals are tied for fourth in program annals, as sophomore Pablo Mena (San Salvador, El Salvador/American School of El Salvador) and freshman Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, MA/Rivers School) were credited with the assists.
Wheaton's defense, spearheaded by junior goalie Cole Davidson (Needham, MA/Salisbury School), kept the WPI offense at bay, limiting the Engineers to one shot during the flow of play, as the other WPI attempt came off a first-half penalty kick. The Lyons posted their 10th shutout, as Davidson collected his eighth after making a huge stop in the second half. Davidson's eight clean sheets are tied for third best in a single season at Wheaton. Junior Paul Moan (Watertown, MA/Watertown) turned aside four shots for the Engineers.
After the hosts took the game's first eight shots by the 40th minute, the Engineers were awarded a penalty kick with 4:02 to go in the opening half. However, the attempt sailed over the crossbar, and the teams entered the intermission scoreless. Early in the second half, WPI senior Dominic DeChiara (Kingston, MA/Silver Lake Regional) ripped a 30-yard shot toward the upper middle netting, but Davidson punched the ball over the target to preserve the deadlock.
With just over 30 minutes to go, Lyon freshman Max Swanson's (Lexington, MA/Lexington) header was cleared off the line by a WPI defender, but Moreira broke the stalemate at 68:06, as his left-footed strike carried over the outstretched reach of Moan. Mena fed Moreira with a touch after taking a few dribbles from the left flank. Not even eight minutes later, Moreira caught up to a Jeffrey pass that went past the Engineer defense, leaving a breakaway for Moreira, who took advantage by sliding his shot underneath a sliding Moan.