Lyons score three unanswered goals to sail past Pilgrims, 3-1
HENNIKER, N.H. – Freshman Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings) and junior Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) scored goals 1:10 apart early in the first half to help the Wheaton College men's soccer team rally from an early 1-0 deficit and defeat New England College 3-1 Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action.
Junior Federico Kelly (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) also scored for the Lyons, who have won three of their last four matches to climb back to .500 at 6-6-2. They also improve to 4-1 all-time against the Pilgrims (5-8-1), who received a goal from sophomore Zac Harris (Benninston, Vt. / Mount Anthony Union) two minutes into the match.
The aforementioned Harris put the home team in front 1-0 2:05 into the match when he one-timed a corner kick from junior Aaron Kolb (New Durham, N.H. / Kingswood) past Lyons freshman goalkeeper Jeff Paer (Fair Lawn, N.J./Fair Lawn).
Blair evened the match at one with his seventh goal of the season a little more than 10 minutes after Harris' marker. Blair took a shot that deflected off Pilgrims sophomore goalkeeper Robert Mallard (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) and into an empty net at 15:40. Seventy seconds later, Swanson knocked a cross from junior Will Nesbitt (Holliston, Mass./Holliston) past Mallard for his eight goal of the year, giving Wheaton a 2-1 lead.
Kelly capped the scoring with his fifth of the season at 33:26 with the assist going to senior Rory McGonigle (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola). The point was the first of the season for McGonigle.
Paer recorded four saves to even his mark at 2-2-0 and snap a personal two-match losing skid. Mallard allowed three goals on nine shots and was replaced at halftime by senior Robbie Fuller (Lyndeborough, N.H. / Wilton-Lyndeborough), who finished with three saves.
Wheaton outshot NEC by more nearly a 3-to-1 margin, firing off 23 shots compared to eight for the Pilgrims. They also held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they travel to Worcester for a 2:30 p.m. match with WPI. The Pilgrims travel to Johnson State for a 3 p.m. match on Saturday.