Lyons extend winning streak to eight games
CANTON, N.Y. – The Wheaton College men's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Plattsburgh State in the first-ever meeting between the squads on Saturday afternoon at MacAllaster Field on the campus of St. Lawrence University.
The Lyons (17-5-0, 6-1-0 NEWMAC) will take on St. Lawrence University (16-2-2, 7-1 Liberty League), ranked No. 16 overall in the final regular season National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll, tomorrow in the second round at 1:30 p.m. Wheaton's eight-game winning streak is tied for fifth all-time in the program record books, while its 17 wins this season is also tied for fifth.
Junior forward Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings) gave Wheaton a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute sniping a shot past Plattsburgh St. sophomore goalkeeper Mitchell Jordon (Bolton Landing, N.Y./Bolton) from just inside the right corner of the box for his 17th goal of the season. The Lyons improve to 13-1 overall when Blair notches a point and 13-2 this season when they score first.
Jordon kept the Cardinals in the game after going down 1-0 with four saves down the stretch and five total in the opening stanza.
Wheaton sophomore back Kevin Gil (Pawtucket, R.I./Wheeler School) nearly made it 2-0 in the 55th minute, but Jordon stymied Gil's insurance goal bid deflecting his shot out of bounds.
Junior captain Luke Finkelstein (Peabody, Mass./Peabody) netted the insurance goal in the 77th minute for Wheaton off of a free kick just outside the right corner of the box for his second marker of the year. Finkelstein struck a bending shot into the near corner of the net just by the outstretched arms of Jordon.
Lyons' sophomore goalkeeper Matt Dickey (Newton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) came up with two saves in the contest for his ninth shutout of the season. Dickey was tested late in the game as Cardinals' senior forward Joe Aratari (Rochester, N.Y./Irondequolt) had a wide open look on goal in the 87th minute. Jordon stopped nine shots in the loss.
Wheaton outshot Plattsburgh St. 15-10, while both teams tied in corners at 4-4.
The Lyons bumped their record to 2-1-1 overall in the NCAA Tournament when playing in Canton, N.Y. One of those wins includes a victory over tomorrow's opponent, a 3-2 triumph in the 2003 Northeast Regional Final against the Saints. Wheaton advanced to the Final Four during that season, its longest run in the NCAA Tournament in program history. Tomorrow's game will mark the second-ever meeting between Wheaton and St. Lawrence.