Cipriano's Winner with Five Ticks Left Pushes Lyons Past Pride, 1-0
NORTON, Mass.- Wheaton College women's soccer freshman Julia Cipriano (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug) delivered the dramatic game-winner with just five seconds left in regulation on Tuesday, as the Lyons handed visiting Springfield College a 1-0 loss in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action at Mirrione Stadium.
Wheaton, which is ranked 14th in the country and tied for third in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), knocked off the Pride for the first time since 2007. The Lyons are now 10-0-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Receiving national votes while ranking in a tie for sixth in New England, the Pride slips to 6-4 and 3-1.
Wheaton's winner came nearly one minute after Springfield hit the crossbar on the other end of the field. Cipriano received a pass from sophomore Gabriella Verde (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and drove her shot into the lower left corner of the net and beyond the reach of senior goalie Erin Greenstein (Framingham, Mass./Framingham).
With 1:04 to play in regulation, freshman Jessica Miller (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) nearly gave the Pride a 1-0 advantage, but her shot nicked the crossbar before sailing over. Not even two minutes into the second frame, the hosts almost broke the stalemate, as Cipriano got behind the Springfield defense and sent a shot just to the left of the goal frame.
In an opening half that saw Wheaton hold a 6-5 edge in shots and a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks, the Lyons had the better chances, including a Cipriano header from point-blank range that was denied by Greenstein 20 minutes into play.
The Blue and White made one final push in the last three minutes of the first half, taking three shots and two corners, but one shot was blocked and two others went wide right.
Lyon freshman goalie Ali Hinton (Lafayette, Colo./Alexander Dawson School) turned aside four shots in recording her first shutout, while Greenstein made three saves in defeat.
Wheaton held a 12-11 edge in shots and took seven of the game's 10 corners.
Having not played a road game since September 22, Wheaton will play at league foe Smith College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.