Averill Roberto '13 (#20, photo insert lower left) netted her first career goal and goalkeeper Tori Redding '13 (#60, main photo) made it stand up with six saves en route to her fourth career shutout as Wesleyan ended a seven-game losing streak to NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams in the season opener for both teams Sat., Sept. 11. Williams had won the last seven contests by a combined score of 19-7, including a 3-0 victory in Williamstown, Mass., in the 2009 season opener, since Wesleyan earned a 1-0 win to end the 2003 regular season.
Roberto's tally capped a period of furious action on the offensive end for Wesleyan. Wesleyan was awarded a corner 5:25 into the half, but a shot off the stick of tri-captain Allie Lynch '11 was stopped by the Williams keeper. Wesleyan was then awarded another corner, with tri-captain Jamie Thabault '11 passing to midfielder Blair Ingraham '14, whose shot was blocked by a Williams defender. Thabault corralled the loose ball, but her shot was stopped. The rebound went to Ingraham, who passed to Roberto in front of the cage. Roberto elevated a shot over the left shoulder of the fallen Williams keeper at 6:20 for the only scoring of the game. Click <here> to watch the game-winning goal.
Both teams struggled to establish an offensive rhythm early, as the teams combined for only one shot in the first nine minutes of the contest, that coming off the stick of a Williams defender. Williams dominated possession for much of the first period, but Redding stopped four shots to keep the Eph offense at bay. Wesleyan's best opportunity in the half came with just under two minutes left in the period, when Liz Chabot '12 raced into the circle alone but was stoned by the Williams keeper.
Williams' best opportunity to net the equalizer came just after the midway mark of the second half. Redding stopped a shot off the stick of a Williams midfielder 21:37 but left a rebound right in front of a wide-open cage. Wesleyan was able to clear the ball away as both teams converged on the ball. Williams continued to threaten in the last five minutes of the game, but the Wesleyan defense prevented the Ephs from launching a shot in that time.
Wesleyan held a 7-2 edge in shots in the second half and 13-10 for the game. Wesleyan also held an 8-2 edge in penalty corners, including 6-1 in the second half.
Wesleyan returned to action Wed., Sept 15 with a night contest at Mount Holyoke. Wesleyan defeated the Lyons, 3-2 in overtime, as Morgan McCauley '12 netted the golden goal 9:07 in the first extra period. The assist went to Ashley McLaren '13, who drew the attention of the MHC keeper before passing over to an open McCauley. Earlier, Liz Chabot '12 netted a pair of goals to erase a 1-0 deficit. Her first in the 24th minute came from Jamie Thabault '11 while her go-ahead marker in the 33rd minute spotted the Cardinals a 2-1 halftime edge. Allie Lynch '11 made the long pass to spring Chabot free for the second tally. MHC tied the game off a penalty corner situation after time expired. The Lyons first goal, in the fourth minute, also resulted from a penalty corner. Redding needed to make just five saves over the nearly 80 minutes of play but two of them came in overtime to give the Cardinal attack a chance to come through.
Wesleyan gets back to NESCAC play Sat., Sept. 18 with a journey to Colby for a game slated for a webcast. A link to watch the game is available on the Wesleyan webcast page off the athletics home page.
(photos courtesy of Logan Porter)