NORTON, Mass. – Freshman Luke Finkelstein (Peabody, Mass./Peabody) produced a career-high four points to power the Wheaton College men's soccer team to its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory of the season on Saturday afternoon, a 5-0 shutout of Clark University Saturday afternoon at Keefe Field.
Junior Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass.) provided the game-winner in the 13th minute to raise the Lyons overall record to 4-5-2 and 1-1-0 within the conference circuit. The loss drops the Cougars to 5-4-1 (0-2-1 NEWMAC).
Wheaton converted on its second corner kick of the afternoon to crack the scoring column in the 13th minute. Junior back David Turina (North Yarmouth, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) tried to curve a corner kick from the left flag inside the upper far post, but the Clark keeper punched the attempt over the cross bar. On the ensuing set piece from the right flag, Finklestein connected with Swanson by the near post to give the hosts an early 1-0 advantage. It was Swanson's fourth marker on the campaign.
Finklestein helped the Lyons double their advantage nearly 18 minutes later, when he delivered a cross to junior forward Conor Finn (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) cutting through the top of the 18-yard box. Finn one-timed the pass onto the foot of a streaking junior midfielder Federico Kelly (Hingham, Mass./Hingham). Kelly ripped his fourth marker of the season into the inside the far post to give the hosts a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Wheaton sustained its offensive pressure early in the second stanza. Turina sent a cross from the right flag onto the head of senior midfielder Chris Thomas (Cumberland, Maine/Phillips Academy). With his heels pinned to the goal line, a Clark defender headed the scoring attempt to his teammate who cleared the ball out of the 18-yard box. Finklestein gathered the clearing pass from 35-yards out and ripped a shot into the back of the net for his first collegiate marker.
The Lyons were able to capitalize on a Clark defensive mistake in the 66th minute to stretch their advantage to 4-0. Turina fed a free-kick from the left flank into the box, which was headed into the net by the visitors for an own goal. Freshman forward Scott Enman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Packer Collegiate) sealed the conference contest with his first collegiate goal in the 83rd minute off an assist from junior midfielder Gabe Reich (Brookline, Mass./Beaver Country Day School) to cap the afternoon's scoring.
Wheaton freshman Devin Delfino (Bourne, Mass.) made three saves to earn his second shutout of the season, while his counterpart, junior Ryan King (Brimfield, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) was credited with nine stops in the loss.
The Lyons held a distinct advantage in shots (23-8) and corner kicks (9-4).
Wheaton will return to action on Wednesday when the Lyons host Brandeis University in a non-conference contest at 4 p.m. Clark travels to Springfield for a noon match next Saturday.