Clark Drops Pilgrim Opener to Wheaton

Worcester, Mass. Visiting Wheaton raced out to a 4-0 first quarter lead and never looked back in taking an 11-4 win over Pilgrim League rival Clark on Saturday night in the conference opener for both teams.

The Lyons have now won three straight to improve to 3-4, while the Cougars see their brief two-game winning streak come to an end and now sit at 5-3.

Reigning Pilgrim League rookie of the Year Matthew Hillman (Brookline, Mass.) continued his torrid scoring stretch, registering five goals for the second time in the last three contests, while Billy McNamara (Mansfield, Mass.) had a goal and handed out a season-best four assists.

It was a pair of Wheaton freshmen who teamed up to get the scoring going in the first period as Liam Williams (East Lyme, Conn.) set up Kyle Rumberger (Hyannis, Mass.) for his fourth goal of the season less than four minutes into the contest.

Hillman then notched a pair of goals the first an unassisted tally and the other came off of a McNamara feed less than two minutes apart to give the Lyons an early 3-0 edge.

Rumberger was at it again as the quarter came to close, notching his second of the game with help from Adam Soloperto (Sudbury, Mass.).

The second quarter was pretty quiet until Jeffrey Wasson (Buckhorn, Ontario) finally got Clark on the board with an unassisted marker with a little less than four minute remaining in the half.

Hillman, however, took away any momentum the Cougars had when he scored his third of the half less than a minute later and then added another in the opening minutes of the third period, putting Wheaton ahead 6-1.

Jacob Maselek (Marblehead, Mass.) scored off a Nick Figliola (Weston, Conn.) pass midway through the third but McNamara set up Hillman again, this time on the man-advantage.

Clark returned the favor moments later when Peter Christiansen (Seattle, Wash.) hooked up with Wasson for his second goal of the night to end the third.

As they did in the first, the Lyons were strong in the fourth, outscoring the Cougars 4-1, with goals coming from Will Compton (Deering, N.H.), Cam Hanlon (Hanson, Mass.), Sean Doherty (East Lyme, Conn.) and McNamara.

The Cougars lone goal in the frame came courtesy of Keegan Callahan (Tewksbury, Mass.), who recorded just the sixth man-down goal in the Pilgrim League this season.

Wheaton's defense was outstanding, as they forced 26 Clark turnovers and scooped up 36 groundballs.

Harrison Bramhall (Barrington, R.I.) made eight saves in net for the Lyons, while Kevin Ranta (Beverly, Mass.) turned back six shots for the Scarlet and White.

Wheaton will look to extend on its winning streak when they take on Regis Saturday, while Clark visits Massachusetts-Maritime on the same day.


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