Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo by Peter Stein '84) netted Wesleyan's second and fourth goal while assisting on goal number three during a five-goal burst in the second half that turned a tenuous 1-0 halftime lead vs. Mount Holyoke Wed, Sept. 21, into the largest margin of victory in the 32-game series with a 6-0 victory. Wesleyan had beaten MHC 5-0 in 1996 and 6-1 in 1994 for a five-goal decision. The teams have met every year since 1979. The Cardinals won their fifth in a row over the Lyons while improving to 16-3-1 over the last 20 meetings. MHC controlled the opening dozen contests with an 8-3-1 edge.
Though Wesleyan held a 10-1 advantage in shots over the opening 45 minutes, Kerry Doyle '14 had the lone Wesleyan goal, converting a Kaylin Berger '13 pass in the 24th minute. A 16-2 shot differential in the second half gave rise to a five-goal Wesleyan barrage in a span of just 20 minutes. Kurash got it started, taking a pass from Emma Compton '14 just outside the box and dashing in, firing the ball past a diving MHC keeper. Wesleyan made it 3-0 in the 64th minute when Dasha Battelle '11 took a pass from Kurash along the right side and sent it home for her second tally of the season. The Cardinals extended their advantage to 4-0 at 70:37 on Kurash's second goal of the game, assisted by Anna Crystal '11 and Barrie Lindsay '12, moving Kurash into a tie for the team lead in that category with Doyle. Kurash, who was the Cardinals' leading scorer in 2009 with 15 points (six goals, three assists), currently leads Wesleyan in scoring with eight points (three goals, two assists).
Wesleyan's final two goals came in a 52-second span, with Kat Ellis-Ferrara '13 and Lindsay netting their first goals of the season at 76:23 and 77:15, respectively. Ellis-Ferrara scored off a corner kick by Mikaela Curtin '13 while Lindsay scored unassisted.
Combining for the Wesleyan shutout were Clare Colton '12, who made one first-half save during her 76 minutes in the net, while Grace Bomann '14 saw her first action of the year, covering the cage for the final 14 minutes.
Wesleyan was looking to keep the momentum going into its next outing, a NESCAC rendezvous at Tufts Sat., Sept. 25. There the Cardinals ended a four-game skid vs. the Jumbos by picking up a 1-1 OT tie, just the second time in the last 11 meetings of the teams that Wesleyan has not tasted defeat.
Kurash got things going for the Cardinals in the opening minute, moving in on the Tufts keeper with a move past a defender and finding the back of the net for an early 1-0 Wesleyan edge. The lead held up until the 52nd minute when Tufts got the equalizer, beating keeper Colton, who otherwise had four saves in the contest. While Tufts outshot Wesleyan substatially, 22-12, the shots on net favored Wesleyan, 7-5.
The Cardinals, who are unbeaten (0-0-3) after three NESCAC games for the first time in the 11 seasons of round-robin play, had an out-of-conference home game vs. Western Connecticut Tues., Sept. 28, postponed due to weather. No makeup date has been set. That made the NESCAC game vs. Trinity Sat., Oct. 2, the Cardinals next outing. Kurash scored a goal for the third game in a row and registered a point in her fourth straight by converting a penalty kick just :21 in. Undefeated (4-0-1) Trinity came back, however, to claim a 2-1 win as the Bantams, ranked 10th in New England, tied the game in the 2nd minute and produced the game-winner in the 81st minute. Colton finished the game with three stops as Wesleyan was outshot, 12-11, but put seven shots on the Bantam net as opposed to five by the visitor.
Wesleyan headed to Eastern Connecticut, ranked fifth in New England, Wed., Oct.6 for its next start. The Cardinals were unable to dent the Warriors' defense as Eastern extended its program-record start to 11 games without a loss (10-0-1) behind a 2-0 victory. Eastern scored in the 30th and 56th minute off Grace Bomann '14, making her first career start in the Wesleyan net. She finished the game with four saves. Eastern had a modest edge in total shots, 12-8.
Wesleyan will be on the road again for its upcoming NESCAC game Sat., Oct. 9 against Bowdoin.