Behind seven saves from goalkeeper Jessica Tollman (#30, photo upper right), Wesleyan rolled to a 3-0 victory over Eastern Connecticut, ranked fifth in New England, Wed., Sept. 14. With the win, Wesleyan improved to 2-0 on the season, its first 2-0 start since 1997, while Eastern now stands 2-3.
After a scoreless 35 minutes, Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo lower right) put the Cardinals on the board at the 35:44 mark. Kerry Doyle '14 (#7, photo lower left) sent a corner kick into traffic in front of the net, and Kurash headed it in for her second goal of the year.
Wesleyan extended its lead to 2-0 late in the first half. A shot by Clare Ashforth '15 was blocked by an Eastern defender, and Kaylin Berger '13 (#14, photo upper left) took control of the ball 35 yards out. Berger sent a rocket that deflected off the underside of the crossbar and in with 2:07 left in the half for her first goal.
The Cardinals made it 3-0 just over five minutes into the second half. Emma Nitzberg '12 sent a pass from the left side to Doyle in the box. Doyle took three dribbles and sent a shot into the right side of the net at the 50:10 mark for her first goal of the year, making it a three-point day.
Eastern's best scoring chance came in the 69th minute as the Warriors hit the crossbar with a shot from the top of the box, but Wesleyan was able to clear the ball before Eastern could get off a second shot.
Eastern held an 8-6 edge in shots in the second half, but Wesleyan led 21-16 for the game thanks to a 15-8 advantage in the category in the first half.
Wesleyan holds a slim 5-3-2 edge in the all-time series, but this was the Cardinals' first win over the Warriors since 1995, when Wesleyan took a 3-0 road victory. Eastern earned a 3-1 win in Middletown the following year, and the teams did not meet again until 2006. Last season, Eastern earned a 2-0 win at home over the Cardinals.
In its next game, Wesleyan did battle with Tufts on the road in a NESCAC matchup Sat., Sept. 17. Tufts dominated on the stats with a 22-6 shot margin but caught net behind Tollman just once in the game as she came up with nine saves. But that Jumbo goal in the 52nd minute proved to be the deciding marker in the 1-0 Tufts triumph.
Ahead for the squad is a trip to Salve Regina Tues., Sept. 20 for a non-conference encounter before opening Little Three play Sat., Sept. 24 by hosting Williams.