SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - For the first time since 1999, the Wheaton College men's soccer team suffered a setback to Springfield College, as the nationally-ranked Lyons dropped a 2-1 decision in their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener at Brock-Affleck Field on Saturday afternoon.
Wheaton, which is ranked 23rd in the country and third in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), had its seven-game unbeaten streak halted and 12-game winning streak against Springfield snapped. Playing in the fifth match of their eight-game road trip, the Lyons fall to 5-1-2. Springfield is 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Sophomore Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) scored Wheaton's lone goal, as his unassisted tally in the 39th minute completed the game's scoring. Senior goalkeeper Chris Smart (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) made five saves, as the hosts held a 15-8 edge in shots. Corner kicks were even at seven apiece.
Freshman Michael Fowler (Maynard, Mass./Maynard) got the Pride on the board just 4:41 into play before classmate Drew Vanasse (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle Regional) made the score 2-0 with the eventual winner at 36:07. Sophomore goalie Chris Walton (Cromwell, Conn./Cromwell) posted a pair of second-half saves in the victory.
Wheaton faces its stiffest challenge of the season tomorrow afternoon against national power Williams College in Williamstown at 2:00 p.m. The Ephs enter the contest ranked fourth nationally and first in New England.