Rachel Hobert '16 & Jess Tollman '15 Combine for 15 Saves and Katy Hardt '15 Nets Winner as Women's Soccer Beats RWU, 2-1 - NESCAC Playoff Chances Hurt by 3-1 Loss to Conn & 1-0 Setback to Amherst
Defeating Roger Williams for the third straight year by the identical 2-1 count, the Cardinals got outstanding goaltending from the combined forces of Rachel Hobert (#0, right side photo), who stoped all six shots on goal in the first half, and Jessica Tollman '15 (#30, photo insert upper left), who made nine saves and only yielded a penalty shot with :01 left in the game.
The Cardinals got a goal in each half as Beth Alexion '16 finished off a corner kick in the first half and Katy Hardt '15 (photo insert lower left) got her first career goal in the second half, which proved to be the game-winner. She received a pass form Laura Kurash '13 and made it count in the 63rd minute to up the margin to 2-0. In the 38th minute, Kerry Doyle '14 took a corner kick that found the foot of Kaylie Williams '16. Her shot hit the underside of the cross bar and sat in front where Alexion was the first to reach it and punch it home for the 1-0 advantage.
The goaltending of Hobert, who got the win, and Tollman did the rest as Wesleyan was outshot by the Hawks, 24-9 in the game, 14-3 in the second half. It was the final non-conference game of the season for Wesleyan as the Cardinals went undefeated against outside opposition (3-0-1).
Ahead for the squad was a key NESCAC battle with Conn. College Tues., Oct. 16. Things did not go the Cardinals' way as a pair of Camel goals in a span of 1:25 midway through the first half spotted the visitors a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-1 win. Kurash got the Wesleyan goal in the 27th minute to cut the gap to 2-1 off a feed from Doyle. It was Kurash's team-high seventh goal of the season. The Camels added a third goal in the 52nd minute to pad their lead as they ended a four-game losing skid to the Cardinals dating back to 2008. Wesleyan had outscored Conn, 10-2, over the previous four meetings. Shots in the game favored Wesleyan by a 15-14 margin. Tollman, who played the entire game, came up with seven stops.
Wesleyan hosted Little Three rival Amherst Sat., Oct. 20 during Homecoming/Family Weekend activities during its next game. Amherst kept its hopes of securing the number-two seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament alive by outlasting homestanding Wesleyan, getting the game-winning goal just 3:15 in the first sudden-victory frame for a 1-0 overtime triumph. Now 11-1-1 overall, the 10th-ranked nationally Lord Jeffs are 7-1-1 in NESCAC play, tied with Middlebury for second place. Amherst closes out the regular-season at Connecticut College Wed., Oct. 24. Middlebury has the formidable task of facing Williams (8-0-1) in a final-game showdown the same day. A win by Middlebury would give the Panthers the top seed in the conference tournament and drop Amherst to no higher than third as all three teams could finish with identical 8-1-1 conference marks. Middlebury (1-0-1 vs. Williams and Amherst) would be the top seed while Williams (by virtue of a 3-2 win over Amherst) would be the second seed. Wesleyan needs a win in its final contest at Trinity Tues., Oct. 23 to have a chance to gain a spot in the NESCAC tournament.
Amherst scored from just five yard away on the right side, sending the ball into the left edge of the net past Hobert, who took over in the second half after Tollman had recorded five saves while holding the Lord Jeffs off the board during the first period. Hobert finished with four saves during her 48:15 in the net as Amherst generated a 19-10 edge in shots for the game.