NORTON, Mass. – Junior Cassey Muse (Candia, N.H./Central) scored her seventh goal of the season early in the first half and senior goalkeeper Lindsay Leddy (Warwick, R.I./Wheeler School) made seven saves in Wheaton College's 2-0 win over MIT in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer action Saturday afternoon at Mirrione Stadium.
Senior Bailey Bowling (Littleton, Colo./Littleton) added an insurance marker midway through the second half to help the Lyons (10-1-2, 5-0-0 NEWMAC) extend their win streak to five and their unbeaten streak to nine (8-0-1). Ranked 18th in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, the Lyons have now won at least 10 matches in 17 straight seasons – including all 15 under head coach Luis Reis. The Engineers, meanwhile, suffer their first conference loss (7-2-2, 2-1-2 NEWMAC) of the season and fall to 7-26-1 all-time against Wheaton.
Muse netted her third goal in three matches 8:58 into the contest to give Wheaton a 1-0 lead. Muse stripped the ball from an MIT back, stepped into the box and tucked a shot under the crossbar. The Engineers outshot the Lyons 9-5 in the opening stanza, but were unable to put one past Leddy, who stopped all five shots on goal.
In the second half, Bowling potted her second goal in as many matches to double the Lyons lead. She dribbled the ball down the right side and past a defender, then lofted a shot into the box that sailed over junior goalkeeper Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) and into the left side of the net at 68:29. Wright came into the match having allowed just five goals in 940 minutes of action and was ranked first in the conference in save percentage (.922) and second in goals against average (0.48).
"I thought our back four played fantastic," said Reis. "We were sloppy at times in the first half, but we found a way to win a conference game at home via shutout. We scored two nice goals. I was really pleased with how focused our backs played because they were busy today. It was a wide-open game. Overall, it's a positive day all the way around. We didn't play as well as we would have liked, but in the end, we got the result we wanted."
Leddy extended her shutout streak to 509:31 en route to earning her seventh shutout of the season. Wright recorded four saves to fall to 7-2-2 on the season. After allowing nine shots in the first half, the Lyons tightened their defense and held the Engineers to just four in the second half. Overall, MIT led 13-8 in shots.
The Lyons return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Emmanuel for a 7 p.m. match. The Engineers host Tufts Tuesday at 4 p.m.