Jessica Tollman '15 Collects 37 Saves over Three-Game Stretch as Women's Soccer Goes 0-1-2 in NESCAC Overtime Outings
With each team scoring a goal off a corner-kick situation, Wesleyan in the 38th minute and Bates in the 70th minute, the Cardinals and Bobcats battled through two scoreless overtimes to finish in a 1-1 tie Sat. Sept. 21. It was the first tie between the squads in 15 all-time meetings, yet the fourth overtime affair in the last six meetings. Wesleyan remained undefeated vs. Bates in the last five outings (4-0-1) while Bates holds an 8-6-1 series edge.
Wesleyan got its goal from Sarah Sylla '17 (#19, photo insert upper right) after a corner kick from the right side by Katy Hardt '15. The kick traveled to the middle of the goal mouth and sat in front for a second as Sylla found it on her foot and tapped the ball into an open net from just a few feet out. It was her first career goal.
Bates evened the count with a pair of corners in a matter of 30 seconds, the first having been tipped over the net by keeper Jessica Tollman '15 (#30, main photo by Peter Stein '84). The second corner ended up in a maze of players in front and eventually found an open Bobcat who found the right side of the net.
Bates held a 25-12 margin in total shots as Tollman collected 12 saves in the game. None was more important than her lone stop in the second overtime as she robbed Bates of the game-winner on a shot labeled for the upper left corner with a diving save.
Wesleyan returned to action Tues., Sept. 24, hosting Tufts in another league matchup. Tollman turned in another top-notch effort, making 13 saves, the second-highest figure among her 32 career starts. He best performance also came against Tufts during the NESCAC tournament in 2011 when she posted 17 stops. Both games went into double-overtime. In 2011, the teams tied and the Cardinals advanced on penalty kicks. This time, Tufts capitalized on the rebound of a shot off the crossbar to loft a shot over Tolman with just :25 remaining in the second overtime to claim a 1-0 victory. It was the 10th overtime game in the 35-game history of the series, and third in the last five encounters.
The Cardinals, though outshot, 26-15, had their share of scoring chances, twice hitting the crossbar and twice being robbed by great diving stops by the Tufts netminder, once in the first half and the other in the second overtime on a perfectly executed corner by Hardt that found the head of Madeline Keane '16.
Wesleyan had another NESCAC matchup when the Cardinals visited Hamilton for a contest Sat., Sept. 28. Facing a 24-8 shot deficit, it again fell on Tollman's shoulders to keep the Cardinals in the game and she came through with 12 more saves for another shutout, her second of the season, as the teams played 110 scoreless minutes. Tollman maintains a solid 0.41 goal-against average and a .951 save percentage.
The next outing for the squad comes up Tues., Oct. 1 at home vs. Elms. The game will be webcast.