Assistant Sports Editor
The Wheaton men’s soccer team extended their winning streak to seven with wins over Elmhurst, Aurora, Illinois Wesleyan and Augustana last week. The Thunder offense rolled, netting three goals in each contest.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, Wheaton welcomed the Elmhurst Bluejays to Joe Bean Stadium, winning 3-1. Elmhurst jumped out to an early lead when Bluejay Mikey Emig found the net in the 14th minute, but from then on it was all Thunder.
Nine minutes after falling behind, freshman forward Stephen Golz evened the score to one each with his third goal of the season, coming off an assist from junior midfielder Nathan Jasperse.
The score would remain tied until the 70th minute when sophomore defender Noah Anthony found junior forward Chad Musgraves for the go-ahead goal. With seven minutes to go in the game freshman forward Marshall Hollingsworth added an insurance goal on a breakaway to make the final score 3-1.
The Thunder outshot the Bluejays 25-8, with a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Elmhurst keeper John Reglin allowed three goals and made seven saves, while Wheaton’s senior goalie Ryan Seager made two saves and allowed a single goal.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, Wheaton traveled to Aurora to square off against the Spartans of Aurora University, coming away with a 3-0 victory. The match remained scoreless for the whole first half. Eight minutes into the second half, junior defender Kevin Skinker took the ball on the right side, dribbled around two Spartan defenders, and bent a left-footed shot around another defender to sneak it into the far side of the goal.
Six minutes later Hollingsworth put his squad ahead by two with his sixth goal of the year. Musgraves chipped the ball over Aurora goalkeeper Nick Sloan with two minutes remaining to push the lead to three goals, which stood as the final.
Wheaton outshot Aurora 18-9 in the match, with 11 of Wheaton’s shots being on frame while the Spartans failed to put a shot on goal. Aurora goalie Ethan Cashen started in goal and made seven saves, allowing two goals in 60 minutes of action. Sloan had one goal allowed and one save in his 30 minutes.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Thunder knocked off Illinois Wesleyan 3-1 in a battle of the top two teams in the CCIW. The Titans entered the contest 4-0 in conference play, while the Thunder were 3-0-1. Four minutes into the match, an own goal put Wheaton on top 1-0. Anthony lofted a corner kick in towards the box, and as Musgraves and a Titan defender both went up for the header, the ball deflected off the defender and into the goal.
In the 11th minute, Anthony scored on a free kick that slipped through the hands of Wesleyan keeper Tim Hegwood. With seven minutes to go in the first half, Kyle Gorgol cut the Titans’ deficit in half when he got a shot past Seager to make the score 2-1. That score remained until, with 15 minutes left in the game, Hollingsworth took the ball just past midfield and ran by his man for an easy insurance goal.
Despite winning 3-1, the Thunder were outshot in the game 14-9, but they did record more shots on goal with a 6-4 edge.
Wheaton earned another CCIW win on Wednesday, Oct. 24, as they topped the Augustana Vikings 3-0 at Joe Bean Stadium.
Wheaton earned another CCIW win on Wednesday as they topped the Augustana Vikings 3-0 at Joe Bean Stadium. The Thunder got on the board first when sophomore forward Adam Blackman was fouled just outside of the box and Anthony bent the free kick into the upper corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. With less than a minute remaining until halftime, Golz doubled his team’s lead with a counterattack goal coming on an assist from Skinker. Freshman midfielder Elliot Borge netted Wheaton’s third goal when he put in a cross from Blackman in the 58th minute to bring the score to the eventual final, 3-0.
The Thunder outshot Augustana 12-3 on the night with a 4-1 edge in shots on goal. Vikings goalie Tyler Cowherd allowed three goals while making one save in the contest. Seager made one save and didn’t allow a goal in his 86 minutes of action. Junior keeper Phillip Oster played in net for the final four minutes.
Wheaton’s record now stands at 13-3-2, and 5-0-1 in the conference with one game remaining in the regular season. That game will be senior night at home tonight, Oct. 26, against Millikin as the Thunder try to wrap up the conference regular season title and home field for the CCIW tournament.
The Thunder will look to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 by winning the conference tournament to clinch a berth in the national tournament. They are currently ranked 16th in the country and second in the central region, which bodes well for their chances of getting an at large bid should they not clinch a bid. The Millikin game is at 7 p.m. tonight and can be heard on WETN 88.1 FM or online at www.wetn.org.
Photo and Banner Credit: Allison Freet
Printed in the October 26, 2012, issue of The Wheaton Record. Send comments to email@example.com.