Matching the score of the first-ever meeting of the squads played in Chicopee, Mass. last year, Wesleyan netted three second-half goals, two by Victoria Matthews '16 (#13, left side photo), to pad a 1-0 halftime lead and go on for a 4-1 women's soccer win here today. Matthews had assisted on Wesleyan opening goal as well, giving her a five-point game. Hannah Stone '15 (#17, right side photo), who netted the first-half marker for the Cardinals, also had an assist in the contest for a three-point afternoon.
Stone's goal came from short range after Matthews served the ball from outside the box to the front of the net in the 33rd minute. Matthews then got her first goal of the game after some hard work by Chrissy Gonzalez-Gandolfi '17, who outraced the Elms keeper to a loose ball to the right of the box and sent a centering pass right in front of the net. Matthews was the first to arrive and put the ball into the open goal in the 60th minute. Just 1:18 later, Matthews had her second goal as Kaylie Williams '16 sent a long ball from midfield deep into Elms territory, and Matthews made good on a 20-yard shot, upping Wesleyan's margin to 3-0.
The Blazers got on the board in the 74th minute, blasting a 30-yard free kick from the right side over Wesleyan reserve goalie Grace Bomann '14, who covered the Cardinal net for the final 23 minutes. Starter Jessica Tollman '15 made two saves during her 67 minutes in goal.
Wesleyan got its fourth goal off the foot of Maddy Chabot '16, as she received a pass from Stone to the right of the box and lofted a shot into the net in the 85th minute.
Wesleyan owned a decisive 24-5 edge in total shots.
Up next for the Cardinals was a home NESCAC matchup with Colby Sat., Oct. 5. In a game played as evenly as the 16-16 shot totals indicated, Colby made good on one well-placed shot off a corner kick in the 64th minute to claim a 1-0 victory. That shot came after a corner kick that found its way near the top of the box to the left of the goal. A low shot by Colby went all the way across the goal and clanked off the inside of the right post, rebounding across the goal mouth and just over the goal line before settling into the net a few feet behind the left pole.
Wesleyan junior keeper Jessica Tollman stopped six Mule shots in the Cardinal net.
The win improved Colby's edge in the series to 8-5-4 though Wesleyan had broken a nine-game winless streak (0-6-3) vs. Colby in 2006 en route to a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) of its own through 2011. Colby took last year's meeting in Waterville, Me., 2-0, to end that surge.
Wesleyan then played a non-conference encounter at home against Roger Williams Tues., Oct. 8. While Wesleyan had won the previous three meetings all by a 2-1 count, Roger Williams broke with tradition by claiming a 3-0 victory. RWU got its first goal in the 36th minute after a corner kick and head ball put the ball on the doorstep for a nudge into the goal. Two tallies in a two-minite span in the middle of the secnd half sealed the outcome for the visitors, who owned a 15-8 edge in shots. Tollman produced four stops in the contest again the fifth-ranked regionally Hawks.
Then facing another of the teams tied for fifth in the region, Little Three foe Williams Sat., Oct. 12, the Cardinals turned on another solid defensive effort, anchored by Tollman's six saves. The game remained scoreless through regulation but with 2:06 left in the first overtime. the Ephs capitalized on a failed Wesleyan clear and netted the game-winner on a high shot from the middle. Williams enjoyed a 14-4 margin in shots.
Wesleyan will conclude its Little Three competition for the season in its next start, visiting Amherst Sat., Oct. 19.