Worcester, MA --- Chris Ciampa (Danvers, MA) and Jason Hopkins (Mendon, MA) connected on a goal in the 68th minute and goalkeeper Jeff Wong (Millington, NJ) registered his eighth career shutout as WPI defeated visiting Wheaton 1-0 in the NEWMAC men's soccer opener for both teams. WPI is now 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference action while Wheaton is 3-2 overall and 0-1 in NEWMAC play.
The victory was the first for the Engineers over the Lyons since 2006 but the Crimson and Gray now sport a 2-1-1 mark in their last four meetings at Alumni Field.
Hopkins connected with a streaking Ciampa, who went past the defense through the right side and beat the Wheaton goalkeeper far post for the game's only tally at 67:35. The marker ties Ciampa for the team lead with Hopkins and is the junior's 19th career goal. Oddly enough it was the first career assist for Hopkins who has an impressive 23 goals in his four-year career.
Wheaton's best chance came just about 90 seconds before WPI's tally as Kai Gooden's (London, England) long bid to the far post from the right side just pushed wide. The Lyons did register three shots after falling behind but all three, including two by Ben Altneu (Orleans, MA) in the final 40 seconds, were either blocked or wide.
Wong was credited with five saves while posing his second shutout of 2012. Wheaton freshman Matt Dickey (Newton, MA) made six stops for the guests.
For the game Wheaton enjoyed a slight 14-12 bulge in shots and a 8-4 edge in corner kicks. Ciampa led all players with five shots while Altneu paced the Lyons with three.
WPI returns to the field on Wednesday when the Engineers head north to Fitchburg State for a 7pm match-up with the Falcons. Wheaton is back in action Sunday, hosting Southern Vermont at 1pm.