WORCESTER, Mass. - The Wheaton College men's soccer team concluded its eight-game road trip on a positive note at Clark University on Saturday, as the Lyons overcame a very early 1-0 deficit to post a 2-1 victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action at Granger Field.
Wheaton, which stands seventh in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), snapped a three-game losing streak while improving to 6-3-2. The Lyons also picked up their first league triumph in moving to 1-1. Clark is 4-5-1 and 1-1-1.
After surrendering a goal to sophomore William Van Noppen (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) just four seconds into the contest, as his shot off the opening kick tied an NCAA Division III record for the fastest goal to start a match, Wheaton settled down, keeping the Cougars off the board for the last 89:96 while allowing just six shots.
A little more than 20 minutes after the Van Noppen score, the Lyons found the equalizer courtesy of senior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School), who sent home his team-best sixth goal of the fall on a feed from sophomore Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington).
Sophomore Will Nesbitt (Holliston, Mass./Holliston) provided the Lyons with the first game-winning goal of his career in the 37th minute, when he converted senior Jake Wagner's (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) long throw with a header past Clark sophomore goalkeeper Ryan King (Brimfield, Mass./Tantasqua Regional).
In addition to holding a 13-7 advantage in shots, Wheaton took four of the game's five corner kicks. Lyon senior goalie Stefan Viragh (Columbus, Ohio/Wellington School) made two saves during the first league win of his career, while King turned aside seven shots for the Cougars.
Returning home for the first time since September 8, Wheaton entertains longtime rival Brandeis University in a non-league game on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.