Seniors lead charge in 2-1 NEWMAC tourney semifinal win over MIT
BABSON PARK, Mass. - Wheaton College men's soccer senior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) had a hand in both of his team's goals during the third-seeded Lyons' 2-1 comeback win over number-two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Saturday's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal round on Babson College's Hartwell-Rogers Field.
Today's game was a rematch of last Saturday's regular season finale that resulted in a 1-1 double-overtime tie. Improving to 11-5-3, Wheaton will meet the top-seeded hosts tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. for the right to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers downed the Lyons by a 2-1 count in last year's conference tournament final.
Tomorrow's championship game will mark the ninth in which a Wheaton team appears in the league's 13-year history. Babson and Wheaton have combined to win the last 10 conference tourney titles, with the Lyons claiming six. MIT, which entered today's action ranked 10th in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), fell to 10-3-2.
After a scoreless first half that saw a pair of Lyon goals negated due to offside calls, the Engineers ended the stalemate on a 56th-minute penalty kick following a foul in the box. In the 62nd minute, Wheaton evened the contest, as Moreira collected a free kick from senior David Winrow (South Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) before finding classmate Josh Solomon (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) for the finish.
With 6:48 to play, Moreira converted a pass from senior Alex Redding (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) for his team-high-tying eighth goal of the fall. Tallying three points on the day, Moreira moved from fourth to second on the program's all-time points list, as the forward now has 94 points on 43 goals and eight assists.
The Lyon defense held strong the rest of the way, blocking a pair of Engineer bids. Senior goalkeeper Chris Smart (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) made a clean save on another attempt, while MIT's final shot from 20 yards out sailed wide.
Smart finished with four saves in the victory, and Engineer junior Dylan Rankin (Providence, R.I./Moses Brown School) made eight stops. Wheaton held a 20-15 advantage in shots, while MIT took six of the game's eight corners.