Putting Wesleyan ahead in the 20th minute with a header, Evan Hazelett '13 (#6, photo by Peter Stein '84) converted a pass from Harrison Lewin '12 (#14, behind Hazelett in photo) into a 1-0 lead in the Cardinals' meeting at Western New England Wed., Oct. 19. But it was Hazelett's unassisted tally in the 71st minute which broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the difference as Wesleyan improved to 10-0-2 on the season, the best start in program history. Both the 2009 and 2006 teams opened the year 9-0-3 while the 1991 squad posted a 10-1-1 mark. This is the team's best showing after 12 games in the Cardinals' 87-year men's soccer legacy.
Hazelett upped his scoring for the year to four goals and three assists for 11 points with his performance. Wesleyan, and goalie Adam Purdy '13, did see the scoreless streak on defense end in the 58th minute as WNE found the net to knot the count at 1-1. It was the first goal allowed by Purdy in 646 minutes of action over an eight-game stretch, and ended the consecutive shutout string at six games. It was just the fourth goal permitted by Purdy all season. He did have two saves in the contest as WNE had a slim 12-10 lead in total shots but the Cardinals put four of their attempts on net to just three by the Golden Bears.
Wesleyan pulled ahead in the overall series, now with a 3-2-2 margin. WNE came into the game ranked fourth in New England. Wesleyan was second on the NSCAA regional list.
Up next for the Cardinals is a showdown with undefeated Amherst for the top seed in the NESCAC tournament and a Little Three title. Both teams are 7-0-1 in NESCAC play while Amherst, ranked fourth nationally, is 11-0-1 overall, having tied Williams. Wesleyan, ranked ninth in the country, defeated Williams this year. A Wesleyan win would give the Cardinals a 2-0 Little Three mark while an Amherst victory would provide the Lord Jeffs with the title behind a 1-0-1 posting. Should the teams tie, Wesleyan gets the title with its 1-0-1 record vs. Amherst's 0-0-2 slate. The game will be webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >.