September 29, 2010

Wheaton falls short of Wesleyan as eight-game road trip nears its end

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - After trailing 2-0 at the half at Wesleyan University, the Wheaton College men's soccer team made a strong push to send the game into overtime but instead managed just one goal in the second half despite a 12-1 shot advantage in the frame during Wednesday's 2-1 non-league loss at Jackson Field.

The Lyons, ranked seventh in the region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), dropped their third straight game for the first time since 2006 and fell to 5-3-2, while Wesleyan evened its record at 3-3 as well as the all-time series with Wheaton at 4-4-1.  Each of the eight non-tying decisions came by a single goal.

The Cardinals jumped on the board first courtesy of a 20-yard restart in the 13th minute, as the hosts' kick deflected off a Lyon defender in the wall and was redirected into the left side of the net.  Wesleyan doubled its advantage midway through the first half when the Cardinals gained possession of the ball 25 yards out before firing a shot past Wheaton senior goalie Stefan Viragh (Columbus, Ohio/Wellington School).

After holding a 9-8 edge in shots in the opening stanza, the Lyons took 12 of the second half's 13 attempts but converted just once on senior Alex Redding's (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) tally at 80:43.  Redding had a golden opportunity to knot the game in the 88th minute, but his shot from the left side hit the far post and ricocheted away.

Wheaton also had a great chance in the 56th minute when senior Yuri Moreira's (Marlboro, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) shot in front of the net came when Cardinal sophomore goalie Adam Purdy (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) was out of position.  However, Purdy managed to get a piece of the ball, and Wesleyan's defense cleared the ball out of harm's away.

Viragh made two stops in the loss, while Purdy was credited with seven saves, as the Lyons finished with a 21-9 advantage in shots.  The Cardinals held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.

Wheaton wraps up its eight-game road trip on Saturday at New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opponent Clark University at 1:00 p.m.

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