Blair third all-time in career goals at Wheaton
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Wheaton College men's soccer team erased an early 1-0 deficit to secure the second seed in the upcoming New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament with a 4-1 victory over Clark University in league play on Saturday afternoon.
Wheaton (14-5-0, 6-1-0 NEWMAC) will take on third-seeded Babson College (11-7-1, 4-2-1 NEWMAC) on Saturday, November 9 at MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament semifinal round at 1:30 p.m. In a meeting earlier this season on October 5, the Lyons defeated the Beavers, 2-0, behind goals from sophomore Noah Kossoff (New York, N.Y./Birch Wathen Lenox School) and junior Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings). Clark's season comes to a close at 4-12-2 overall and 1-5-1 in the conference.
Cougars' freshman forward Vinny Morra (Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) gave the hosts a 1-0 advantage in the seventh minute sniping a shot into the upper corner of the net past Wheaton sophomore goalkeeper Matt Dickey (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School) after taking a few dribbles into the box.
Wheaton responded at the 27:30 mark as Kossoff buried a feed from teammate Kevin Gil (Pawtucket, R.I./Wheeler School) into the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
Junior Ben Altneu (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) provided the game-winner 8:03 later ripping a shot behind Clark senior goalkeeper Alfonso Alvarez (San Salvador, El Salvador/American School of san Salvador).
Blair, who was credited with an assist on Altneu's tally, scored the final two goals for Wheaton heading home a cross from sophomore Michael Cronin (Wethersfield, Conn./Wethersfield) at 41:27, while converting a penalty kick marker at 42:09.
With a five-point effort on the afternoon, Blair moved into sole possession of sixth all-time on the career points list at Wheaton with 82 total (35g, 12a) surpassing Josh Solomon '11 on the list. Blair's 35 career goals ranks tied for third on the all-time list with Shaun Cavanaugh '03 and Eric Reed '01, while his 16 goals this season are tied for third all-time with Reed and Yuri Moreira '10. Blair also has registered 35 points this season which ranks tied for sixth all-time with Dan Antoniuk '03. Antoniuk leads the men's soccer program in career points (144) and goals (54) and is also second in assists (36).
Dickey stopped a season-high seven shots in net to improve to 12-5-0 overall. Alvarez made four saves in the loss. Wheaton outshot Clark, 14-12, and won the corners matchup, 9-6. The Lyons are 20-2-1 all-time versus the Cougars dating back to 1995. Wheaton has not lost to Clark since October 18, 2008, a 1-0 loss at home.