|by Brent Harris • September 29, 2010|
Tommy Pecar's header in the 69th minute put Wabash in front to stay in a hard-fought match against Wheaton College Wednesday afternoon. The Little Giants held on for a 1-0 home victory to improve to 6-4 for the season.
Pecar got his head on the centering pass by Allan Swan and drilled the shot past the Thunder goalkeeper for the game winner after Wabash had missed several point blank shots earlier in the contest.
Swan had two early chances directly in front of the keeper, but Wheaton's Ryan Seager turned those attempts aside as part of his four saves in the contest. Ian MacDougall faced only two chances in the first period before being peppered with four shots in the second period. The Thunder fired two attempts on net in the final minutes in a desperate attempt to tie the match and send the match into overtime.
Femi Oleyedun nearly gave the Little Giants the lead in the 62nd minute glanced off the cross bar. Oleyedun had another attempt hit the right post in the 69th minute before Pecar's header finally settled in the back of the net moments later.
"I'm very pleased – not just because of the win but also because of the performance of the lads," head coach Roberto Giannini said. "We talked about how we wanted to approach the match and we stuck with the plan for 90 minutes. We did what we were supposed to do."
Wheaton (2-5-3) outshot the Little Giants 15-13 and had one more shot on goal than Wabash, with most of the attempts coming after Wabash had taken the lead.
Swan led Wabash with four total shots and two shots on goal. The assist was his third of the year. Pecar, André Hall, and Josh Pedersen each had a shot on goal, as well.
"We created a half-dozen opportunities, but either hit the crossbar or the post, and their goalkeeper made two phenomenal saves," Giannini said. "Wheaton's record is deceiving. Their losses are to nationally-ranked opponents and even though they are a young team, they are very talented. So this is a huge win for us.
"This should show we have the ability to play with anyone if we execute our game plan for 90 minutes. We have the talent, we have the work ethic, we just have to believe in ourselves."
MacDougall recorded his fourth shutout of the year.
Wabash returns to action in the North Coast Athletic Conference Saturday when the Little Giants travel to Granville, Ohio to play Denison University at 2:30 p.m.
Photos - (top right) Junior Allan Swan prepares to drive a shot toward the goal. Swan picked up his third assist of the season in the Little Giants' 1-0 win over Wheaton.
(Bottom left) Austin Jennings battles two Wheaton players for the ball.