Muse's overtime winner pushes Wheaton past Babson in regional battle
NORTON, MA- Freshman Cassey Muse (Candia, NH/Central) netted her seventh game-winner of the season 1:10 into overtime for the only scoring of the contest, lifting Wheaton College past Babson College in a battle of regionally-ranked New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer foes on Tuesday in Mirrione Stadium.
The Lyons, who are ranked fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) New England poll, improved to 13-2 overall and 4-1 in the league behind their 10th shutout of the season. The Beavers, who are tied for sixth in the region, slipped to 9-5-1 and 2-3. With the win, Wheaton ran its series unbeaten streak to 16 contests.
In a match-up of the teams with the two lowest goals against averages in the NEWMAC and the top two shutout totals, the Blue and White held a 13-6 advantage in shots, while sophomore Lindsay Leddy (Warwick, RI/Wheeler School) made three saves to work the shutout. Beaver junior Sarah Macary (Woodbury, CT/The Gunnery) stopped four Lyon shots.
The winning play was set up 30 yards from the net in the middle of the field, as senior Lyndsey McManus (Marshfield, MA/Marshfield) sent Muse toward goal. With a defender flanking her, Muse slipped a shot to the lower left corner, where Macary got a piece of the ball before it trickled just over the goal line. It was Muse's league-leading 13th marker of the fall.
Wheaton generated a couple of opportunities to break the deadlock during the final 15 minutes of the opening half, but Macary stopped a McManus free kick in the 32nd minute before pouncing on the rebound, and sophomore Jessica Gray (Carver, MA/Sacred Heart) directed her header off another McManus free kick wide right by just a few feet in the 38th minute.
In the 63rd minute, a soft header junior Emily Hough (Norwich, VT/Hanover) sent toward the goal line split a pair of teammates, and Macary was able to grab the ball while falling down under duress. During the 89th minute, Babson junior Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury) broke free of two Lyons near the left corner of the field before shooting high and wide. With 22 ticks left, McManus fired high of the target, and the teams went to overtime.
The Lyons, who are in the midst of hosting four contests during a five-game stretch, square off with Clark University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The visiting Cougars are tied for 10th in this week's NSCAA New England poll.