Wheaton Defeats No. 25 Babson, 2-1 in 2OT, in NEWMAC Semifinals

Photo by Nina Kenny
Photo by Nina Kenny
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BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Roni Diniz scored in the 104th minute to lift fourth-seeded Wheaton College to a 2-1 double-overtime win over top-seeded and 25th-ranked Babson College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's soccer Tournament semifinal on Saturday at Hartwell-Rogers Field. 

Babson, which had its six-game winning and 11-game unbeaten streaks snapped, are now 11-5-3, while Wheaton improves to 12-6-2 with its seventh consecutive victory. 

Sophomore Ian Fromhein had a goal and senior Adam Villari recorded an assist for the Beavers, who got nine saves from junior goalkeeper James Takami. 

Junior Amara Sesay finished with a goal and an assist for the Lyons. Classmate Erik Wisniewski stopped two first-half shots before being replaced by fellow junior James Bailey, who made four saves.  

Fromhein gave the Green and White a fourth-minute lead when he headed a cross from Villari inside the left post for his third marker of the year. Wheaton struck back less than 11 minutes later though when Takami punched away a long throw in only to see Sesay bury the rebound to make it 1-1 in the 15thminute. 

Both goalkeepers were sensational in a second half that saw Takami make five of his six saves over the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Lyons had the only shot of the first overtime period and all three of the shots leading to their goal in the second stanza of extra time. Takami made a diving save on Sesay's shot from just inside the box, but the rebound rolled to Diniz, who touched it home for his 15th goal of the year 6:17 remaining. 

Wheaton finished with a 21-10 edge in shots, which includes 11-7 on frame, while Babson had a 7-5 edge in corner kicks. The teams also combined for 33 fouls.

Wheaton will face either second-seeded Springfield or third-seeded Clark in the conference title game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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