Ranked first in New England for the first time this season, the Wheaton College women's soccer team recorded its fifth straight shutout while remaining unbeaten on the season Wednesday afternoon, as the Lyons notched a 2-0 victory over visiting Salem State University in a non-league match at Mirrione Stadium.
Sliding up seven spots in the country to number seven in yesterday's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, Wheaton matched the program's eighth-longest unbeaten streak in improving to 12-0-2. The Vikings slip to 6-5-1.
Lyon senior Cassey Muse (Candia, N.H./Central), who moved into a tie for fifth place on the school's all-time goals list with 42, tallied this afternoon's winner 11:51 into play. Sophomore Lauren Corigliano (Roselle Park, N.J./Roselle Park)took the corner from the right side of the field and freshman Julia Cipriano (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug) flicked it from the near post to a waiting Muse, whose one-time finish made the score 1-0.
Despite a 14-4 shot edge in Wheaton's favor, Salem State nearly tied the game with less than a minute to go in the opening half. However, junior Casey Connolly's (Nahant, Mass./Swampscott) shot from the left side of the box carried just wide of the goal frame.
The hosts doubled their advantage in the 61st minute, when Cipriano headed home a Corigliano cross from the left side. The Vikings didn't threaten until the 88th minute, but Lyon freshman goalie Lauren Thacker (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) pushed freshman Kelly Birchmore's (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) shot over the crossbar to preserve the shutout.
Lyon freshman keeper Ali Hinton (Lafayette, Colo./Alexander Dawson School) improved to a perfect 7-0 with three saves in nearly 69 minutes, while Thacker made the one stop the rest of the way. Viking freshman Rachel Ledbetter (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) turned aside four shots in the loss.
Wheaton finished with advantages of 19-9 in shots and 10-4 in corner kicks.
The Lyons resume New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday when they travel to the United States Coast Guard Academy for a 1 p.m. start.