NORTON, Mass. - In a classic battle between two evenly matched men's soccer teams, the home squad prevailed as Wheaton College defeated Plymouth State College Wednesday, 1-0, in a non-conference thriller that was decided in the final minutes of regulation. It was Wheaton's first victory over PSC since 1996.
Wheaton, ranked 12th in the country and second in the New England region, extends its winning streak to six games to start the season, its longest streak since 1997. The Panthers, a team that came into the game ranked eighth in New England, falls to 4-2 on the season.
Both teams battled back and forth throughout a scoreless first half, as neither defense allowed many scoring opportunities. The best chance for the home team came midway through the half, as the Wheaton attackers planted themselves in Plymouth's goal box for four consecutive shots directed at Panther goalie Brad Wilby (Haddonfield, NJ), who single-handedly prevented Wheaton from getting on the board.
The Lyons' veteran defensive unit allowed a mere four shots on goal for the afternoon, and goalkeeper Craig Evans recorded his fourth shutout of the season. Wilby finished with five saves for PSC.
In the 82nd minute, Wheaton senior forward Andy Hall provided a through ball to a streaking sophomore forward David Wurm down the middle of the field. Wurm finished the play with a soft shot past Wilby to the bottom left corner of the net for what proved to be the game-winner.
Plymouth State returns to action Saturday, Sept. 23, in the Little East Conference opener at Eastern Connecticut (1 p.m.)