NORTON, Mass. October 2, 2007 - Freshman Melida Alvarez (Saugus, Mass.) notched her second straight game-winning goal and fourth of the season in guiding Wheaton College to a 2-0 victory over Springfield College in a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer contest between two of the league's leaders Tuesday at Mirrione Stadium.
Remaining unbeaten through 12 games at 11-0-1, Wheaton entered today's contest ranked seventh nationally and tops in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Lyons are now 3-0 in conference play. The Pride, which is ranked fifth in the region and 21st nationally, had its five-game winning stretch come to an end in falling to 9-2 and 2-1.
After holding a slim 6-4 edge in shots and 5-2 advantage in corner kicks in the first half, Wheaton's best scoring chance came in the opening 30 seconds of the second stanza. Springfield junior goalie Sue Jenney (Agawam, Mass.) came off her line to challenge Wheaton's attack, but in doing so left the net open for senior Lauren Konopka (Medford, N.J.), whose shot from outside the box landed to the right of the target.
The Lyons redeemed themselves in the 73rd minute, when Alvaraz took a feed from senior Ashley Furr (Chicopee, Mass.) and, with a Pride defender on her back, Alvarez turned to her right, slipped past the Springfield player, and delivered a perfectly-placed shot into the bottom left corner of the net. Just 50 seconds later, the hosts capitalized on a penalty-kick opportunity, as senior Erin Davis (Easton, Conn.) put her right-footed boot out of the reach of Jenney and into the right side of the goal frame.
The Lyons held the upper hand in the second stanza, taking 11 of the half's 13 shots and five of the six corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Stacey Kronenberg (Belchertown, Mass.) extended her program record to 28 career shutouts with her first this season after making one first-half stop, while Jenney was credited with four saves for the Pride.
The Lyons travel to Wellesley College on Saturday for another conference game at 1:00 p.m. Springfield will try to regroup when it travels to Babson for a league match Saturday, also at 1 p.m.
Springfield (9-2, 2-1) 0 0 0
Wheaton (11-0-1, 3-0) 0 2 2