Wheaton returns home and posts 2-0 league win following long road trip
NORTON, Mass. - Playing at home for the first time since September 8, the Wheaton College men's soccer team collected its second straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory with a 2-0 shutout of the United States Coast Guard Academy on Saturday at Keefe Field.
Ranked ninth in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the Lyons improved to 7-3-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Bears, who had allowed just seven goals through 10 games entering today, fell to 5-5-1 and 1-2-1.
Senior transfer Alex Redding (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) turned in the first multi-goal showing in a Wheaton uniform, scoring the game-winner in the eighth minute before tacking on the game's final goal with 8:25 remaining.
Classmate Chris Smart (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) recorded his fourth shutout of the season, turning away two second-half shots, while Coast Guard senior Chris Tarbell (Haddonfield, N.J.) finished with five saves in the loss.
Redding's goal at 7:28 was set up nicely by sophomore Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington), who from the right corner of the field beat a Bear defender and took a few touches before slotting his centering pass over to a waiting Redding for the finish.
Sophomore Will Nesbitt (Holliston, Mass./Holliston) nearly made it a 2-0 Wheaton lead with nine minutes to go in the opening half, but his shot from point-blank range rolled to the right of the frame in leaving the game a one-goal margin at the break.
In the second half, Coast Guard's offense came to life and had a couple of significant scoring chances, including junior Kevin Noll's (Clearwater Beach, Fla.) attempt that carried right of the target just five minutes into the stanza. With 17 minutes to play, classmate Brett Godiksen (Westbrook, Conn.) nearly got his head on a serve for the potential equalizer.
In the 82nd minute, the hosts doubled their advantage on a play that started with sophomore Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, Mass./Rivers School) in Wheaton's half. Jeffrey's pass up the right sideline found senior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School), who caught up to it and quickly sent a through ball to Redding, who got behind the Coast Guard defense before pushing his shot past Tarbell.
The Lyons remain at home on Tuesday for a game with Haverford College of Pennsylvania at 3:00 p.m. Meeting for just the second time and first since 1994, Haverford is coached by 1995 Wheaton alum Bill Brady, who played his senior season under current head coach Matt Cushing.