Springfield, Mass. - September 25, 2010 - First-half goals by freshmen Michael Fowler and Drew Vanasse proved to be the difference as the Springfield College men's soccer team knocked off rival and 23rd-ranked Wheaton College, 2-1, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The win marked the first time since 1999 that the Pride was able to defeat the Lyons. Springfield improves to 6-2, 1-1 in league play and has already surpassed its win total from a year ago through only eight games this season. The Lyons, who entered the game ranked 23rd in the country in the latest NSCAA National Poll, lost for the first time this season as they move to 5-1-2, 0-1.
Springfield wasted no time scoring the game's first goal as it struck just 4:41 into the contest. Ryan Malone gathered a loose ball after a corner kick and shook a pair of Wheaton defenders as he got free on the left flank. The freshman then sent a cross that ran through the 18-yard box, untouched, until Fowler slammed home his second career goal from six yards out.
Vanasse scored what would prove to be the game-winner in the 37th minute as he corralled a loose ball in the box and fired home his fourth goal of the season. The freshman has had a knack for finding the back of the net this week as he scored two goals, including the game-winner, in Springfield's 4-0 win over Endicott on Thursday.
The Lyons made it a one-goal game as they scored just 2:16 later on a Max Swanson strike. Swanson let loose a shot to the right that deflected off a Springfield defender and found the back of the net.
Those would prove to be the only goals of the contest as Springfield finished the game with a 15-7 advantage in shots, while both squads took seven corner kicks. The game was filled with plenty of physical play as the teams combined for 35 fouls, including 21 by the hosts. All told, seven yellow cards were issued in the contest.
Chris Walton earned the win as he finished with two saves. Chris Smart made five saves in the loss for the visitors. Wheaton made things interesting in the waning moments as it had a deep throw in into the box, which Walton was able to punch away from danger as the final horn sounded.
The Pride returns to action on Monday evening when it travels to square off against local-foe Elms at 7:00 pm.