Ranked 18th nationally in Division III, Wesleyan jumped out to a 2-0 first-half lead and went on to a 4-1 NESCAC win over Bates Sat., Oct. 16 in Maine. The win set up a showdown Sun., Oct. 17 in Middletown when the Cardinals hosted Middlebury. The Cardinals did not fare as well as the Panthers extended their winnning streak vs. Wesleyan to 11 games with a 3-0 decision.
Middlebury and Wesleyan both came into the game with identical 4-2 NESCAC marks, thus improving Middlebury to 5-2 and in a tie for third with Trintiy. Wesleyan fell to 4-3 in the conference, tying them for fifth with its next NESCAC foe, Little Three rival Amherst. Bowdoin has locked up a first-round NESCAC tournament home game Nov. 1 with its 7-0 mark at this point while Tufts, at 6-1, is in great shape for a home opener. Trinity, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Amherst are fighting for the final two spots. All teams have two NESCAC contests remaining.
At Bates, Wesleyan received a goal and an assist from both Morgan McCauley '11 and Liz Chabot '12 (#4, left-side photo) at Bates. Chabot's seventh goal of the season, set up by McCauley on a penalty corner, gave Wesleyan a 2-0 lead in the 10th minute of the game, after Taryn Murray '13 (#16, right-side photo) opened up the scoring, tipping the ball in on an Ashley McLaren assist. Chabot set up McCauley in the 58th minute to cap the day's scoring.
Bates had closed the gap to 2-1 on a penalty corner shot in the 18th minutes of the first half, the only Bobcat shot on goal to elude Cardinal keeper Tori Redding '13, who ended the game with five saves.
The game remained 2-1 for the remainder of the half and into the second half, before Wesleyan broke a 33-minute scoreless stretch for both teams with 19 minutes remaining in the game. McCauley finished the scoring for Wesleyan as she snuck a ball past the Bates keeper with 12 minutes left in the game.
Wesleyan outshot Bates, 28-15, and earned eight penalty corners to Bates' seven.
Against Middlebury, Wesleyan fell behind in the sixth minute on a fluke goal as Redding came out to play a ball sent into the clicle from long range, but missed the ball, allowing it to roll right in front of the goal where a waiting Panther put it home from short range. The Panthers added a goal in the 21st minute for a 2-0 halftime edge and bumped the margin to 3-0 in the 38th minute.
Wesleyan was outshot 11-5 but controlled the corners with a 10-5 edge. Redding ended the game with six stops. Wesleyan has not beaten Middlebury since 2000.
Wesleyan closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule Tues., Oct. 19, hosting Salve Regina, before taking on Amherst Sat., Oct. 23 in a pivotal NESCAC and Little Three matchup. Both Wesleyan and Amherst own a 1-0 win over Williams this season so the victor on Saturday will claim the 2010 Little Three title.
(portions of this article provided by Bates sports information)