SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Senior forward Julia Cipriano's goal in the 74th minute proved to be the difference as Wheaton College held on for a 2-1 win over Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer action on Saturday.
With the win, the Lyons of Wheaton move to 10-5-1 and are now 3-2-1 in conference play. The MHC Lyons are now 8-5-1 overall with a 3-3-1 mark in the NEWMAC.
Despite an active first half, which saw Wheaton post a 10-4 difference in shots and a 9-0 edge in corners, neither team could find the back of the net in the first 45 minutes.
The visitors turned the tides just 53 seconds into the second half as sophomore midfielder Sarah Buckley (Oviedo, Fla./Oviedo) collected a feed from senior defender Alyssa Gilman (West Windsor, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional South) drove the ball into the right corner past the reach of junior keeper and captain Zoe Marshall (Mississauga, Ont./Cawthra Park Secondary School).
Mount Holyoke, which trailed by only a 9-7 margins in shots for the second half, was able to gain the equalizer as first year Sara Sanaú Ruiz recorded her team-leading 14th of the year. Hustling toward the box, Sanaú Ruiz found the loose ball and cut right before lobbing the ball over the reach of senior Taylor Wilson (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham).
Wheaton was able to net the go-ahead tally in the 74th minute as a shot by Buckley forced MHC's Marshall to dive for the ball. Unable to keep hold of it, the ball rolled out to Cipriano (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug), who banked it into the open net.
The homestanding Lyons tried to net the equalizer, but were unable to get another past Wilson before the end of the half. Sanaú Ruiz had a number of the chances, her best coming with less than three minutes as she beat the goalie - who had come out to defend - but her shot arched high over the net.
Wheaton finished with a 19-11 advantage in shots, going 10-1 on corner kick opportunities. Wilson earned the victory, stopping one shot, while Marshall made nine saves. MHC's defense also picked up a save in the second half as a Cipriano took a shot that found the goalie out of position, but an MHC defender was there for the stop.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as Mount Holyoke heads to Springfield, while Wheaton is at Coast Guard. Both matches begin at 7pm.