Wheaton turns back Springfield, 2-1, advances to 10th straight NEWMAC semifinal
NORTON, MA- The second-seeded Wheaton College men's soccer team notched a 2-1 victory over seventh seed Springfield College during Wednesday's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal game at Keefe Field. Upping their record to 17-3-1, the Lyons advance to their 10th straight semifinal round.
Moving on to Saturday's semifinal round at Babson College, where it will face the winner of tonight's game between number-three United States Coast Guard Academy and sixth seed Clark University, Wheaton, which extended its winning streak to a season-best six games, is tied for 18th in the country and ranked third in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Springfield ended its season at 5-13-1.
Freshman Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, MA/Rivers School) turned in his first career game-winner, coming in the 75th minute, while junior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) posted his conference-best 16th goal in the opening half on a long assist from junior keeper Cole Davidson (Needham, MA/Salisbury School), who also finished with two stops. Wheaton held edges of 11-7 in shots and 7-5 in corner kicks.
Springfield freshman Alex Reilly (Ledyard, CT/Ledyard) provided the tying marker in the 58th minute, while classmate Chris Walton (Cromwell, CT/Cromwell) had three saves.
Davidson earned the assist after booting the ball three quarters of the field to a streaking Moreira, who carried the ball down the right side before blasting his shot from inside the box into the upper left netting at 17:27. The Lyons took six of the first-half's seven shots, with the Pride's lone attempt coming off a free kick.
After an apparent Wheaton goal was negated due to an offsides call early in the second frame, Springfield knotted the contest shortly thereafter. Reilly collected a loose ball in the middle of the field and outside the box before drilling his shot to the right side of the target and beyond the reach of a diving Davidson at 57:39.
With each team playing a man short for the final 31:39 of the second half, the hosts took the lead for good with 15:16 to go. From the right end line, freshman Max Swanson (Lexington, MA/Lexington) broke down a couple of Springfield defenders before freeing himself for a quick cross to an oncoming Jeffrey, who tucked away his shot into the lower right corner of the net at 74:44.