Matt Lynch '15 (#12, left side photo) scored the first goal of his career with just 3:45 remaining in the second overtime to make a 1-0 winner of Wesleyan in its NESCAC contest vs. Colby Sat., Oct. 5. The win improved Wesleyan's record against Colby to 15-1 and was the 15th in a row for the Cardinals. Colby took the first meeting between the teams in 1978 during an ECAC tournament game. Since the teams have been playing in round-robin conference action starting in 2000, it has been all Wesleyan. This was Wesleyan's fifth straight victory over Colby by shutout but three of those five outings have been 1-0 battles.
Lynch got the game-winner on a header after receiving a cross-box pass from Hans Erickson '16. Each team had chances to score in regulation. Colby, despite a 17-12 shot disadvantage, had three great opportunities, all stopped by netminder Emmett McConnell '15 (#30, right side photo) , who finished with six saves and his third shutout of the year. With 30 minutes left in the first half, McConnell stopped a hard Colby shot, then made a pair of saves in the final 20 minutes of regulation to keep it a scoreless contest. The Colby keeper made his best save of the day when he prevented Brandon Sousa '16 from cashing in with just under five minutes left in the second half.
Wesleyan played its next game at home Tues., Oct. 8 in non-conference action against Eastern Connecticut, ranked seventh regionally. Wesleyan drew first blood when a perfectly placed corner kick by Omar Bravo '15 in the 64th minute found the head of Charlie Gruner '17, spotting Wesleyan a 1-0 lead. The margin lasted 14 minutes before Eastern tied the game in similar fashion, heading in a long cross from deep on the left. The teams then played the final 32 mnutes scoreless. The Cardinals' 24-8 edge in shots was indicative of the time of possession as Wesleyan forced the Warrior keepers to make 10 saves. McConnell had only two saves in the contest as Eastern put just three shots on net.
Wesleyan opened its Little Three season Sat., Oct. 12, hosting Wiliams. The Ephs proved victorious, 2-0, scoring once in each half. The outcome broke a streak of five consecutive overtime meetings between the Cardinals and Ephs. Williams struck in the 41st minute and the 81st minute to come away with the win while generating a 19-11 edge in shots. McConnell picked up eight saves in the contest but was touched for multiple goals for the first time in his eight career starts.
Wesleyan puts the finishing touches on its Little Three encounters in its next game, heading to Amherst Sat., Oct. 19.
(photos courtesy of Peter Stein '84)