Laura Kurash '13 Adds Goal & Assist at Bates After Netting Second Career Hat Trick at Elms, Leading Women's Soccer to Pair of Wins before Loss to Colby
Playing Elmns for the first time in history, Wesleyan made it a memorable affair as Laura Kurash '13 picked up her second career hat trick and Kerry Doyle '14 added a goal and an assist to make short work of a 4-1 Cardinal victory Tues., Oct. 2. After that, the squad embarked upon a grueling NESCAC road weekend, facing Bates Sat., Oct. 6, followed by Colby Sun., Oct. 7. With Kurash leading the way behind a goal and an assist, the Cardinals downed Bates, 3-1, to begin the two-game NESCAC set. The Colby game went to the host by a 2-0 count.
At Bates, Wesleyan fell behind, 1-0, in the 21st minute only to respond with the tying goal 40 second later as Mikaela Curtin '13 put home the rebound of a Kurash shot in close on the right. The play was set up by the hard work of Isabel Clements '16, who brought the ball up the left side and crossed it into the goal area. Wesleyan took the lead for good when Kurash collected a good through pass from Doyle and put home a left-footed shot from 20 yards out for the game-winner in the 32nd minute. Beth Alexion '16 finished off the scoring with an unassisted marker in the 55th minute. With an 18-6 edge in shots, Wesleyan controlled the tempo of the contest. Keeper Jessica Tollman '15 was credited with just one save, but it was a big one as she dove to stop a sure Bates goal in the 39th minute which would have evened the count at two apiece at the time.
Wesleyan got an early lead at Elms when Kurash played the ball into the back of the net in the seventh minute following a scramble in front of the net in the six-yard box. The Cardinals extended the lead six minutes later when Doyle delivered a corner kick service to Kurash, who drilled the ball into the left corner of the net to up the margin to 2-0. Wesleyan maintained the lead through intermission and added its third strike when Kurash blasted a deflected ball into the left side of the net make it 3-0 at the 48:13 mark. The Cardinals’ final tally came in the 65th minute when Doyle connected for a long score from just outside the 18-yard box to give Wesleyan a 4-0 advantage.
Elms averated a shutout in the 80th minute, getting one past Tollman, who played the second half and made one save. Rachel Hobert '16 started in net for Wesleyan and stopped the only shot on goal she faced to earn the win. Wesleyan had a sizeable territorial advantage with a 28-6 edge in total shot.
The only other hat trick for the high-scoring Kurash came in the second game of her career in 2009 as she posted four goals and two assists in a 7-0 whitewashing of Smith. Since then, Kurash has registered six two-goal games and now has 34 markers in her illustrious career, 15 of them game-winners including the victories over Bates and Elms.
At Colby, the Mules picked up a goal in each half, in the 23rd and 59th minutes, and used an 18-11 edge in shots to keep Wesleyan at bay in posting a 2-0 win. That ended the Cardinals' six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) vs. Colby since 2006 after the Mules had gone 6-0-3 over the initial nine meetings of the teams. Tollman had five saves during the 82 minutes she spent in the net while Hobert added two more saves in the final eight minutes.
Wesleyan plays a non-conference game Wed., Oct. 10 at Roger Williams in its next outing.