Wheaton College men's soccer sophomore Travis Blair (Hastings, N.Y./Hastings) became just the sixth player in program history to record seven points, carrying the Lyons to a 4-0 victory over visiting Clark University during the team's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season finale on Saturday at Keefe Field.
Guaranteeing itself a spot in the five-team NEWMAC Tournament, Wheaton improved to 8-6-4 overall and finished its league slate at 2-2-2. Pending on next Saturday's results, the Lyons will either earn a first-round bye as the third seed or host an opening-round game on Wednesday, October 30, as the fourth seed. Clark slipped to 7-9 on the fall and 0-5 in league play.
Blair's career day included assisting freshman Kai Gooden (London, England/Berkshire School) on the 57th minute game-winner before turning in a natural hat-trick with goals in the 63rd, 80th and 83rd minutes.
Wheaton tallied its four markers in 26:06. Blair found an open Gooden at the top of the box, Gooden made one touch and planted his shot into the lower left corner of the net at 56:46.
The hosts' second goal started with sophomore Brian Kenny (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Iona Prep) pushing the ball to the right wing to senior Will Nesbitt (Holliston, Mass./Holliston), whose cross into the box found Blair on the near post for the quick finish at 62:15.
Blair's final two tallies came 3:08 apart at 79:44 and 82:52. Kenny connected with Blair toward the left side of the box. With the Clark goalie challenging, Blair made a quick move to his left to beat the keeper and again found the back of the net for a 3-0 Lyon advantage.
Blair's final goal of the game and 10th of the season was an unassisted marker, collecting a loose ball before driving his shot into the far right corner of the net.
Sophomore goalie Jeff Paer (Fair Lawn, N.J./Fair Lawn) finished with five saves during his second shutout of the season, while Clark senior Ryan King (Brimfield, Mass./Tantasqua Regional) also had five stops in defeat.
Wheaton held a slim 17-15 edge in shots, and the Cougars took five of eight corner kicks.
The Lyons wrap up their regular season with a home game on Wednesday against non-league foe Emmanuel College at 3 p.m.
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