While Kerry Doyle '14 (#7, right-side photo) broke the ice for the Cardinals in the 33rd minute, assisted by Kaylin Berger '13, to spot Wesleyan a 1-0 first-half lead in its rematch with Salve Regina Tues, Sept. 20, Laura Kurash '13 (#8, left-side photo) put home a pair of markers in the second half, upping her seasonal total to four, as the Cardinals prevailed, 3-0. The triumph avenged a 3-1 setback to Salve in the only other meeting of the teams, played in Middletown in 2010.
Now with nine points on the season with four goals and one assist, Kurash gave Wesleyan a cushion with an unassisted tally in the 66th minute, then tacked on another goal in the 86th minute with Emma Nitzberg '12 setting up the score. Goalie Jessica Tollman '15 posted her second career shutout, needing just two saves, one in each half, to preserve the goose egg. After Salve held an 8-7 margin in shots after 45 minutes, Wesleyan's defense limited the Seahawks to a single shot in the second half, that coming with less than five minites to play. The Cardinals countered just 15 seconds later with the final goal. Wesleyan held a 5-1 edge in shots during the second half and had four corner kicks in the contest to a lone attempt by Salve. Salve came into the game riding a six-game win streak.
Wesleyan, with a 3-1 mark on the year, hosted Little Three nemesis Williams Sat., Sept. 24 in its next outing. A year ago, the teams battled to a 2-2 overtime deadlock in Middletown during the regular season before Williams went on to defeat Wesleyan in the NESCAC tournament, 4-1, on its way to a tournament title and an eventual spot in the NCAA quarter-finals. This time, Williams, ranked fifth nationally, scored once in each half and limited the Cardinals to four shots on goal in posting a 2-0 victory. Williams has picked up four shutouts in its five contests thus far with a 1-0 setback to top-ranked Messiah the only blemish on its record. Wesleyan did well in holding the Ephs to only six shots on goal but two fairly long-ranged blasts, one late in the opening period and the second just 1:08 into the second half made the difference on the scoreboard. Williams extended its unbeaten streak vs. Wesleyan to 30 (28-0-2) since the last Cardinal triumph in 1982.
Wesleyan returned to action Sun., Sept. 25 with its first-ever regular-season NESCAC meeting with Hamilton. A goal in the 51st miniute from Mikaela Curtin '13 tied the score at 1-1 but a pair of Hamilton markers in the final 39 minutes spotted the host a 3-1 triumph. Curtin's goal was assisted by both Doyle, who started the play with a free kick, and Barrie Lindsay '12, who chipped the ball to Curtin right in front of the net. Tollman had a seven-save effort in the net.
The Cardinals then began another back-to-back NESCAC weekend with a trip to Middlebury Sat., Oct. 1, followed by a home game with Colby Sun., Oct. 2. The Colby game will be webcast at noon, preceded by a pre-game program starting at 11:30 and can be watched by clicking < here >. At Middlebury, the Panthers extended their unbeaten streak vs. Wesleyan to 17 (14-0-3) by seizing a 2-1 double-overtime decision. Kurash struck first for Wesleyan in the 12th minute, converting a Doyle pass into her fifth goal of the campaign and a 1-0 Cardinal lead. That held until the 55th minute when the Panthers countered to knot the score. The teams battled scoreless for another 46 minutes until the Panthers netted the golden goal in the 102nd minute. Tollman collected seven stop in the Wesleyan net.