Trio of Mulligan, Nemes and Hockele Lifts Men's Soccer to First Ever Win at Wheaton

Connor Hoeckele

Norton, MA --- Matt Mulligan (Hebron, CT) and Brendan Nemes (Kingston, MA) netted goals and Connor Hoeckele (Granby, CT) notched a shutout in goal as the WPI men's soccer team went on the road Saturday and blanked Wheaton 2-0 in a NEWMAC conference matchup.  The win advances the Engineers to 6-1-1 overall and 1-1 in conference competition while the Lyons drops to 5-4-1 on the season and 0-1-1 in NEWMAC play. 

The victory is the first ever for the Crimson and Gray over Wheaton in Norton.  The Lyons had won 13 straight home matches over WPI, including nine regular season contests and four NEWMAC Tournament affairs.  WPI had won a game howveer on Keefe Field in 2014 when the Boynton Hillers defeated Coast Guard 1-0 in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal.  

Wheaton opened the match by putting up a string of shots that missed just wide and were blocked by WPI defenders from first-year Neil Fitzgerald (Wakefield, MA), senior Steven Pinski (Croton-on-Hudson, NY) and first-year Roni Diniz (Brockton, MA). 

The Engineers found their first break of the game when they utilized a Wheaton foul to place themselves before Wheaton's defense. Nemes crossed a pass to Mulligan who recorded a shot to the right side of the net for his first career goal, putting WPI on the board, 1-0, at 39:24.  Ten minutes into the second half, Nemes didn't slow down as he ran past defenders on the left side of the field before he found his opening to push through a goal that crossed to the right corner of the net, advancing WPI's lead, 2-0.   It was the junior's team-best fifth goal of the season and 11th of his career.

As the clock dwindled down, the Lyons maintained possession for the majority of the rest of the half as Diniz, senior Kevin Davis (Beacon, NY) , junior Louis Chavez (Porterville, CA) and Pinski offered shots to try and get on the board, but came up empty. It was a last chance effort by sophomore Curran Wait (Scituate, MA) when he headed a shot in the last minute of the game, only to be saved by Hoeckele to seal his 12th career shutout in his 20th overall victory.

Wheaton's junior goalkeeper Erik Wisniewski (4-1) claimed four saves during the game while Hoeckele registered seven. Overall, the Lyons held the 24-13 measure on shots and 9-3 advantage on corner kicks.

WPI (10th) is back in action on Tuesday when they host Endicott (6th) at 7pm in a battle of regionally-ranked teams.  Wheaton travels to Brandeis on Tuesday for their next matchup. Game time is set for 7pm.  

Release Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information

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