NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's soccer team trailed 1-0 for a fourth time this season on Sunday against nationally-ranked Middlebury College before scoring a second-half goal to force overtime and settling for a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes of play at Mirrione Stadium in a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament game.
Staying unbeaten at 4-0-1, the Lyons are receiving national votes and ranked fourth in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Panthers, which opened their season with a loss yesterday, stand 11th nationally and second in the region.
After controlling play in the opening half, Middlebury broke the stalemate 7:30 into the second frame when senior Kristen Lundquist (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet Regional) headed home a cross from classmate Drew Smith (Silver Spring, Md./Maret).
The Lyons found the equalizer not even nine minutes later, as junior Jessica Stuart (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) pushed her close-range shot past Panther senior goalie Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) following a free kick by sophomore Samantha Cronin (Wethersfield, Conn./Wethersfield).
Wheaton had the better of the opportunities the remainder of regulation and first overtime. With 11 minutes to go in the second half, Lyon freshman Kristina Braga (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) had a shot from point-blank range turned aside by Torch.
Midway through the first extra session, Wheaton had back-to-back chances go for naught, as senior Emily Hough's (Norwich, Vt./Hanover) blast sailed to the left of the target and Braga's rush shortly thereafter was cleared out of harm's way by a Middlebury defender.
Junior goalie Lindsay Leddy (Warwick, R.I./Wheeler School) was credited with 10 stops, including six in the opening half, for the Lyons, while Torch finished with two saves. Middlebury ended with a 17-12 edge in shots, and corner kicks were even at four apiece.
Wheaton hits the road on Wednesday for a non-conference game at Endicott College at 6:00 p.m.