WHEATON, Ill. — Wheaton (Ill.) shrugged off several missed opportunities and turned in a strong second half to defeat Centre 2-0 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Wheaton advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006.
Wheaton outshot the Colonels 21-9 and outcornered them 9-2. Ryan Seager made four saves, turning in his second clean sheet in a row. Centre’s Zach Sosnovich made four saves and allowed two goals.
The first half was defined by missed opportunities for both sides. In the ninth minute, Chad Musgraves scored what looked to be an early goal only to have it negated by an offsides call.
Two minutes later, the Colonels couldn’t capitalize on a loose ball in the box with Seager away from the goal and the game settled in to a deadlock that lasted until halftime.
The Thunder wasted another opportunity in the opening minute of the second half when Sosnovich’s clearance was stolen by Adam Blackman. Blackman’s hurried shot went wide right of the empty net and the game remained scoreless.
Finally in the 50th minute, Wheaton found open space on an even numbers break. Blackman’s shot from the right was initially saved by Sosnovich, but the ball rolled loose to Mitchell Paur who rolled the ball into the back of the net to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead.
The game remained a one-goal spread until Marshall Hollingsworth found room for a right-footed kick that was again saved by Sosnovich. This time it was Blackman who cleaned up the loose ball to provide the final score of 2-0.
With the victory, Wheaton improved to 17-3-3 and advanced to Friday’s Round of 16 where they will await the winner of the Dominican and DePauw game.
Centre finishes its season with a record of 15-4-3.