November 7, 2010

Lyons quest for eighth NEWMAC title falls short at Babson in double OT

BABSON PARK, Mass. - In a rematch of the 2009 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship game, the third-seeded Wheaton College men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 double-overtime decision to top seed Babson College on Sunday afternoon at Hartwell-Rogers Field.

The Lyons, who were seeking their eighth NEWMAC Tournament title in the league's 13-year history, end their season at 11-6-3.  Ranked fifth in the region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the Beavers improved to 14-3-2 while receiving the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.  Wheaton dropped its fifth straight contest to Babson, with each of the last four meetings decided by a single goal.

After a scoreless first half, the visitors got on the board in the 56th minute, when senior Yuri Moreira's (Marlboro, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) team-leading ninth goal brought him to 44 career tallies and 96 points, both good for second place in program annals.  Sophomore David Turina's (North Yarmouth, Maine/Northfield Mount Hermon School) free kick into the center of the box was headed by sophomore Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) toward the right post, where Moreira redirected it past the Beaver goalkeeper.

Babson tied the game midway through the second stanza with an own goal, as a restart near midfield played off the head of a Lyon defender and into the back of the net at 66:34.  Included in Wheaton's 14-6 shot advantage in the second half was a scoring chance in the 82nd minute, but Swanson's header from 15 yards carried to the right of the post.  Beaver junior goalie Peter Crowley (Lexington, Mass./Brooks School) was credited with eight stops in the stanza.

Each team threatened in the first overtime, with Lyon senior goalkeeper Chris Smart (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) denying a Babson bid in the 93rd minute and classmate Alex Redding's (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) shot in the waning seconds rolling just wide of the left post.

The game-winner took place midway through the second extra session, when sophomore Eric Anderson's (Scituate, Mass./Rivers School) header beat a charging Smart, who finished with 10 stops.  Crowley made nine saves, as Wheaton finished with advantages of 22-17 in shots and 7-2 in corner kicks.

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