Second Half Surge Propels #2 Wheaton To NEWMAC Championship Over #3 Babson, 5-1

Second Half Surge Propels #2 Wheaton To NEWMAC Championship Over #3 Babson, 5-1

Altneu nets two markers in the win

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The second-seeded Wheaton College men's soccer team scored four unanswered goals in the second half to defeat third-seeded Babson College, 5-1, in the semifinal round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Roberts Field on the camps of MIT.

Wheaton junior back Ben Altneu (Orleans, Mass./Nauset Regional) buried a pair of goals to pace the Lyons' offense, while senior forward Adam Sholi (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) delivered the game-winning marker in the 51st minute of the contest setting off a string of four-straight goals for the Blue and White. Sophomores Michael Williams (Los Angeles, Calif./Millbrook School) and Noah Kossoff (New York, N.Y./Birch Wathen Lenox School) also added tallies in the victory.

Babson senior forward Kevin Israel (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Germantown Academy) notched the Beavers lone goal of the game in the 31st minute to tie the contest at 1-1. After a long throw-in from junior Patrick Ellis (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) was flicked towards the center of the box by sophomore Andrew Gonzalez (Durham, Conn./Xavier), Israel slipped by Wheaton's backline and headed home his fifth goal of the season past sophomore goalkeeper Matt Dickey (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon School).

Altneu gave the Lyons an early 1-0 lead at the 16:29 mark depositing Scott Enman's (Brooklyn, N.Y./Packer Collegiate Institute) cross from the left flank into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the year.

Deadlocked at 1-1 in the second half, Sholi gathered a deflection just outside the top of the box and promptly blasted a shot over Babson senior goalkeeper Jackson Klein (Maplewood, N.J./Columbia) into the netting to reclaim the lead at 2-1.

Altneu increased Wheaton's advantage to 3-1 just 8:17 later depositing a pair of quick passes by juniors Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings) and Luke Finkelstein (Peabody, Mass./Peabody) into the lower right corner of the goal. After a receiving a service from the right flank, Blair one-touched a pass to Finkelstein who quickly played a through ball towards the right post for Altneu and the eventual goal.

Babson controlled played in the first half outshooting Wheaton, 13-5, while also holding a 3-0 differential in corners. Wheaton answered in the second stanza with a 17-6 margin in shots and four unanswered goals.

Dickey stopped a season-high 11 shots in net for the Lyons to improve to 13-5-0 overall on the season. Klein made seven saves in the loss.

Wheaton (15-5-0, 6-1-0 NEWMAC) will played first-seeded MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament championship game tomorrow in Cambridge, Mass. at noon. The Engineers advanced to the title game earlier this afternoon defeating fourth-seeded Coast Guard 5-4 in penalty kicks after both teams played to a 1-1 draw in double overtime. Babson concludes its season at 11-8-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the NEWMAC.

NOTES: The Lyons enter tomorrow's matchup against MIT on a six-game winning streak... Wheaton has now outscored its opponents 23-9 in the second half... the Lyons are 21-8-1 overall in NEWMAC Tournament play... Wheaton picked up its first win over Babson in the conference tournament since 2007... the Lyons improved to 11-2 overall when scoring first and 11-1 when Blair notches a point.

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