CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton women's soccer team gave up a goal in the 79th minute, which proved to be the difference, as Wheaton College held on for a 2-1 victory over the Spartans on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net over the first 45 minutes, with the Spartan defense locking down in front of freshman goalkeeper Rachel Shambo, who made 11 saves in her first career start between the pipes.
After a scoreless first half, both teams came firing out of the gates with a pair of goals in the 46th minute. Caren McCharthy lofted a high pass down the sidelines that reached Megan Healy near the Spartan goal line, where she beat a Spartan defender and snuck a shot just past Shambo for the first goal of the match.
On the ensuing possession for Castleton, a handball in the box gave Makenzi Bellando a penalty kick. She took full advantage of the opportunity, lacing a low shot into the back of the net to even the game at 1-1 just 27 seconds after surrendering the goal.
The Spartans continued on the offensive end with corner kick chances from Bronwen Hopwood and Kaitie Sanders, but the offense was unable to collect a shot on goal. Kaylee Sye, meanwhile, capitalized on a turnover to give the Lyons the lead, 2-1, in the 79th minute. Healy issued a low cross into the box, where Sye was able to finish a quick shot past Shambo to give her team the lead.
Hopwood came up with the final opportunity for the Spartans, striking a low shot on goal in the 86th minute, but Wheaton goalkeeper Alexa Barbagallo was able to get her body in front to make the save. The Lyons held possession over the final minutes to secure the 2-1 victory.
Hopwood and Bellando led the squad with five shots combined, while Rachel Keefer and Rylee Nichols also forced shots toward the goal for the Spartans.
The Spartans open a three-game road trip on Wednesday, Sept. 13, starting with a non-conference matchup at MCLA at 6 p.m.