Women's Soccer Posts Third Straight Winning Regular Season, Knocked out of NESCACs by Third-Seeded Williams
Behind a pair of goals by Kerry Doyle '14 (#5, photo by Peter Stein '84), Wesleyan rolled to a 3-0 victory over Connecticut College in Fri., Oct. 29. Wesleyan, which entered the game having already clinched a spot in the upcoming NESCAC Championship, improved to 5-4-4 overall and 3-2-4 in NESCAC play, posting its first-ever winning conference record. Conn. College, which needed a win to qualify for the postseason, finished its season 5-6-3 overall and 1-5-3 in conference action.
Wesleyan was seeded sixth in the NESCAC tournament and played at third-seeded Williams College on Sun., Oct. 31, in the opening round. Williams pulled away from a tight 2-1 contest at halftime with two second-half tallies to record a 4-1 playoff victory. It was the third straight year the Cardinals fell to a Little Three rival in the first round of NESCACs, having lost to Amherst in both 2008 and 2009. Wesleyan had snapped a 24-game losing streak to Williams in its 2010 season opener on Sept. 10, forging a 2-2 double-overtime tie in the team's regular-season meeting with the Ephs.
Against Conn, Wesleyan jumped on the board just 3:06 into the contest courtesy of leading scorer Laura Kurash '13. Kaitlin Ashley '11 threw the ball in to Kurash, who was standing along the left side of the box. Kurash sent a low shot into the left side of the goal for her ninth marker of the season. She ended the season with 21 points on nine goals and three assists.
Doyle netted her first goal of the afternoon with just 39 seconds remaining in the first half. Barrie Lindsay '12 sent a pass up to Doyle, who beat a Conn defender to the ball. Doyle raced into the box all alone and sent a shot into the right side of the net for her fourth goal of the season.
Doyle made it 3-0 at 51:38, taking a pass from Dasha Battelle '11 and again sending it into the right side of the cage. She joined Kurash, who had a pair of goals in a 6-0 win over Mount Holyoke College and in a 3-2 comeback win at Bowdoin College, as the only Cardinals to record multi-goal games this season.
Conn. College held a 12-11 edge in shots in the contest but put only four shots on net, including just one of six second-half shots. The visitors came out firing to start the second half, launching four shots in the first 4:23, but two sailed wide and a third was blocked by a Wesleyan defender.
Grace Bomann '14 had three first-half stops for Wesleyan while Clare Colton '12 entered to start the second half and added one save.
Wesleyan has won three straight games against Conn. College for just the second time in program history, as Wesleyan won the first three games between the schools from 1983-85. The Cardinals earned a 3-0 win in New London in 2009 and defeated the Camels 2-1 at home the previous year. Conn. College leads the overall series 15-12-2, however.
At Williams, Wesleyan found itself down 1-0 in the first minute of play. The Cardinals responded in the fifth minute when Kaylin Berger '13 sent a long serve over the Eph defense. Doyle got to the ball ahead of any Williams player on the left side of the box and moved in to put the ball into the net to the left of the Eph keeper. That gave Doyle her third goal in a row for the Cardinals and upped her seasonal scoring to six goals and one assist for 13 points, ranking second on the squad.
Just six minutes later, Williams regained the lead and padded the margin with goals in the 47th and 65th minute. Williams outshot the Cardinals, 17-7, and moves on to face Middlebury in the NESCAC semis at Amherst. Colton logged all the action in the Wesleyan net, making five stops.