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Wheaton Men’s Soccer Earns a Split

September 21, 2017
With a victory over Luther College and a close loss to the University of Chicago, the Wheaton Men’s Soccer team looks strong heading into conference play.
The Thunder took on Luther College on Saturday, Sept. 16, when the temperature on the field neared 100 degrees. The teams seemed to be in a feeling-out process for much of the first half, as neither team was able to dial up sustained pressure.
Wheaton finally broke through with 4:53 remaining in the first half, as sophomore midfielder Sean Dunlop set up senior captain Josh Greene for his first goal of the season. In the second half, the level of physical play increased.
The Thunder’s freshman goalie Hasten Biddlecome collided with a Luther player while attempting to play the ball, and was forced to leave with a thigh injury. Wheaton was awarded a penalty kick in the 54th minute, and junior midfielder Andrew Wade converted the opportunity, giving the Thunder a 2-0 lead. Biddlecome then returned shortly after, and was able to complete the shutout.
Tyler Robbins was named CCIW Defensive Player of the Week for his key part in Wheaton’s back-to-back shutouts of Knox and Luther, according to the Wheaton Athletics website.
On Wednesday Sept. 20, the Thunder took the field against the number-one ranked NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer team: the University of Chicago (United Soccer Coaches Poll). Max Lopez scored for U of Chicago 31:54 into the game, a score which held up going into the half. In the second half, the Thunder had their share of chances, as they rang a shot off the crossbar and had multiple shots drift just wide of the post. Ultimately, they were unable to convert any of these chances, and the 1-0 score held up as the final, dropping Wheaton’s record to 3-4 overall. They have yet to begin conference play.
Head Coach Jake DeClute was pleased with his team’s play, despite the result. “The fact that they could hang in a game with that team shows a lot. I think ultimately though, you want to be ruthless to win the game. It can be a little too much of a silver lining that you hung in the game, but I also felt really proud of them. I felt like [we] had them on the ropes, [we] just didn’t deliver the knock-out punch.”

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