Strong finish leads Wheaton past Transylvania 3-0 in First Round of NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament
Wheaton, Ill.- Despite a lopsided shot total, it took a strong finish for the Wheaton Thunder men's soccer team to punch through and hold off the Pioneers of Transylvania University on Friday night. #Marshall Hollingsworth# broke a scoreless tie in the 74th minute and Wheaton added two more late goals for good measure to record a 3-0 victory in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. With the victory Wheaton advances to face Centre College in a Second Round match on Saturday night at Joe Bean Stadium.
Wheaton (16-3-3) held a 27-6 edge in shots with an 11-4 edge in shots on goal. Wheaton outcornered the Pioneers 7-2 with all seven Pioneer corners coming in the second half. #Ryan Seager# (PICTURED RIGHT) made four saves in goal for the Thunder and pitched his sixth shutout of the season. Taylor Nossokoff surrendered two goals and made seven saves in 78:07 in goal for the Pioneers (16-2-2). Cody Waltrip allowed one goal and made one save in the final 11:53
Play was very even throughout the first half despite Wheaton holding Transylvania without many shot opportunities and piling up opportunities of their own.
The best opportunity of the half came with seven minutes remaining in the half when #Jonathan Clark# was dragged down in the box drawing a penalty kick for the Thunder. #Josh Clark# could not convert the kick, however, and the score remained tied going into halftime despite a 16-1 shot advantage.
Transylvania responded in the second half, controlling the play early in the half and swinging momentum their way by getting Wheaton out of the rhythm they had in the first half. Wheaton made some adjustments to thwart the Pioneer momentum and finally broke through in the 74th minute.
Josh Clark took the ball at midfield and sent the ball into space, finding a running #Marshall Hollingsworth# (PICTURED LEFT) who carried past a defender and then blasted it past the keeper Nossokoff to break the scoreless tie.
Five minutes later, #Adam Blackman# was sent sprawling off the ball in the box, drawing another penalty kick opportunity for the Thunder. #Noah Anthony# took advantage of the penalty shot to give Wheaton a 2-0 advantage.
Wheaton put the finishing touches on the victory with a counterattack off a Transylvania corner kick. #Stephen Golz# carried the ball out of traffic setting up a 3-on-2 break. Golz then found #Mitchell Paur# (PICTURED RIGHT) who sent a hard shot into the back of the net to provide the final score of 3-0.
Transylvania, the automatic qualifier out of the HCAC, ends their season with a record of 16-2-2. Wheaton will advance to face Centre College, who defeated the defending champion Ohio Wesleyan University 2-1 in double overtime earlier Friday evening.