In a battle of regionally ranked powers, Wesleyan got the golden goal off the foot of Daniel Issroff '15 (#10, photo insert upper left) just 32 seconds into overtime to make a 1-0 victor of Wesleyan over Tufts in NESCAC action Tues., Sept. 17. It was the first goal of the year allowed by the Tufts' defense as they had gone 360 minutes through four games before being touched for a tally. Tufts entered the game ranked fourth in New England in the latest NSCAA poll while Wesleyan was eighth.
Tufts outshot Wesleyan, 11-9, in the contest but Cardinal goalie Emmett McConnell '15 (#30, main photo), making his second career start, stopped all five Jumbo shots on net, including a penalty shot with 15:45 left in the first half. Tufts' top scorer and returning first-team all-NESCAC player junior Max Hoppenot sent a low shot to McConnell's left and he made the diving stop, pushing the ball all the way to the far sideline. McConnell also made a key save in the final two minutes of regulation after a free kick by Tufts ended up with a feed to the middle of the box and a hard head ball at net from 10 yards out that McConnell snagged with both hands.
The game-winner in overtime came after Wesleyan moved the ball down the right side with help from Dylan Hoy '17 and Matt Lynch '15. A battle ensued for the ball just outside the box and Hoy pushed the ball central, where Issroff trapped and got the ball bouncing knee-high before unleashing a hard shot neck-high just inside the right post past the Tufts keeper. It was Issroff's first goal of the year.
Though Wesleyan has a commanding 44-18-7 edge in the series that dates back to 1935, the teams have split the last 12 meetings, with Tufts taking the 2012 tilt by a 2-1 count. Up next for the Cardinals is another NESCAC encounter at home, facing Bates Sat., Sept. 21.
(photos courtesy of Peter Stein '84)