Emmett McConnell '15, NESCAC POTW, Provides the Shutout, Brandon Sousa '16 Scores as Men's Soccer Beats Bates Before Cards Fall at WNE & Hamilton
Shutting out Bates for the fifth consecutive time, Wesleyan got the game-winning goal in the 84th minute off a blast by Brandon Sousa '16 (#8, photo upper left) from 30 yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar and buried deep in the back of the net, making the Cardinals a 1-0 victor. Wesleyan now leads the overall series, 8-4-4, and has taken the last five encounters by a combined score of 9-0.
Wesleyan outshot Bates, 21-9, over the course of the contest but Bates put two balls in the Wesleyan net in the latter stages of the second half, with one called back for offsides and the second nullified by a hand ball. Sousa then capitalized on a ball sent into the Bobcat box that ricocheted off a Bates defender as well as Wesleyan Matt Hertgen '15. The ball came well out of the box to the left where Sousa trapped and fired a shot that proved to be the game-winner.
At the other end, Emmett McConnell '15 (#30, main photo) made three stops, one of them on a point-blank shot from 10 yards out in the second half to keep the game tied. It was his second straight shutout during the week against a NESCAC opponent. For his performance, McConnell was chosen NESCAC Player of the Week.
Wesleyan then traveled to Western New England Wed., Sept. 25 for a non-conference contest. In a closely contested game in a very tight series, the Golden Bears struck for the game's lone tally in the 28th minute and despite a 12-6 edge in shots for the Cardinals, Wesleyan could not get the equalizer. Dylan Hoy '17 created a pair of good chances for Wesleyan in the final 10 minutes, but each time the WNE goalie made the stop. McConnell had two saves in the Wesleyan net. Playing each year since 2006, Wesleyan and WNE have faced each other nine times, including an NCAA tournament game in 2009, with Wesleyan holding a slim 4-3-2 edge.
Next up for the squad was a NESCAC matchup at Hamilton Sat., Sept. 28. It was a near instant replay of the WNE contest as Hamilton broke a scoreless tie in the second half (52nd minute) and came away with a 1-0 win. Hamilton did enjoy an 11-8 shot margin as McConnell stopped three shots on goal.
The Cardinals have another NESCAC encounter ahead when they host Colby Sat., Oct. 5.
(photos courtesy of Peter Stein '84)