Soccer falls to Wheaton 3-0
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 18:09
The Wheaton Lyons, ranked 19th in the country, beat the Blue 3-0 on Saturday, Sept. 22. “Wheaton is a team capable of getting results because of their direct, high pressure style. Our team competed hard and did well to play to our strengths,” Wellesley coach Tony Mohammed said.
Wheaton went up early, with the first goal coming after 11 minutes of sustained offensive pressure. A series of unfortunate events culminated in a second Wheaton goal only seven minutes later.
The Wellesley defense kept attackers onside, creating confusion. Goalkeeper Claire Cerda ’15 then misjudged the bounce of the ball and allowed another goal. However, from then on, Wellesley maintained firm concentration, fighting it out in the midfield with Wheaton.
Captain Megan Turchi ’13 articulated the players’ mindsets during the first half. “I was mainly just working as hard as possible. When you are losing a game, it is easy to give up and think the game is over, but in soccer anything can happen,” she said.
The best chance for Wellesley in the first half came from captain Kara Lungmus ’13 with a run down the wing and a brilliant cross to the center, but Wheaton goalkeeper Taylor Wilson made the save easily.
Both Wellesley and Wheaton came out strong in the second half. The quality of play increased, with both teams improving their pass precision and anticipation.
Unfortunately, a Wellesley foul six minutes into the second half put the game beyond reach for the Blue. Cerda blocked the initial shot with a quick dive to the left, but the rebound gave Wheaton striker Gabriella Verde an easy tap-in to put the score at 3-0.
Still, Wellesley didn’t give up. The Blue continued to put constant pressure on the Wheaton defense, which refused to crack. Wellesley attacked down both wings with striker Jennifer Marble ’13 fighting for every ball in the center. “My goal going out onto the field is to do whatever I can to win the ball for my team... I will always do just as much as the referee allows me to within the context of winning the ball,” Marble said.
Unsurprisingly, the game turned physical with both sides trying to push each other off the ball.
The last forty minutes proved frustrating for Wellesley. The team strung together attack after attack only to be denied. Wheaton’s second goalkeeper, Ali Hinton, came on for the last 19 minutes. Wellesley had four on-target shots during that time, but each shot found safe hands.
Wheaton coach Luis Reis was vocal throughout the game, making his feelings heard to the referee and his players. Mohammed was quieter, but firm in his belief. “With commitment and belief in our work we will continue to improve. This is the most committed team we’ve had so my sense is our best games are still ahead,” he said.
All the coaches and players have the NEWMAC (New England Woman’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) tournament in their sights. “Our goals as a team for the rest of the season include finishing at the top of the NEWMAC conference, and overall ending with a winning record,” Lungmus said.
Wellesley is now 4-4-1 for the season after a 1-0 loss to nationally-ranked Brandeis on Monday. The Blue are now 1-1 in NEWMAC conference play. Wheaton remains undefeated.