September 3, 2011

Lyons, Leopards play to 1-1 tie

NORTON, Mass. – Freshman Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings) scored his first collegiate goal late in the first half and freshman goalkeeper Devin Delfino (Bourne, Mass./Bourne) made four saves to help the Wheaton College men's soccer team earn a 1-1 tie with Wentworth Saturday afternoon in non-conference action. The match was the season-opener for both squads.

Just moments after entering the match, Blair gave the Lyons (0-0-1) a 1-0 lead at 34:57. Junior Federico Kelly (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) headed the ball into the box on the backend of a corner kick, and Blair send a header into the back of the net. The match remained tied into the break with the Lyons holding a 10-5 edge in shots.

Early in the second half, the Leopards (0-0-1) evened the score on a goal by freshman Nick Cotter (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich). Senior captain Josh Deschene (Webster, Mass./Bartlett) played the ball over to Cotter, who sent a shot from the left side of the box into the far right corner at 50:19.

The Lyons best scoring chance in overtime came midway through the second session when junior Will Nesbitt (Holliston, Mass./Holliston) fired a shot that struck the crossbar behind WIT junior goalkeeper John Longo (Needham, Mass./Needham). The Leopards, meanwhile, had a chance a few minutes later when Cotter sent a long blast just over the crossbar. Longo finished with four saves.

"Other than a lapse defensively, I thought we were good in the first half," said Lyons head coach Matt Cushing. "I thought the second half was abysmal. We didn't play to our tactical plan. We were selfish and not focused, and yet we still had a chance to win in overtime.  That's how it's going to be for us this year. We have to keep things close and take care of our chances because I don't think we're a super dynamic team."

Wheaton finished the afternoon with a 21-11 edge in shots and a 10-2 edge in corner kicks.

The Lyons return to action Sunday afternoon when they host Hobart at 1:30 p.m. The Leopards travel to Babson Sunday for a 1 p.m. match.

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