Maddy Coulter '14 Nets Hat Trick as Cardinals Take Then #12-Ranked Colby to the Limit in 9-8 Setback, Then Fall to 4 More Top-20 NESCAC Rivals
Colby, ranked 12th nationally in Division III, fought off homestanding Wesleyan for a 9-8 win Sat., March 29 to extend its winning streak over the Cardinals to eight games while improving to 17-3 all-time against Wesleyan.
Colby never trailed in the game, leading by one or two goals for about 45 minutes during the contest while the game was tied at either 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, 4-4 or 5-5 for about 15 minutes. Colby held a 5-4 lead at halftime. Wesleyan tied the game for the last time at 27:24 of the second half when Caty Daniels '15 scored her eighth of the season with a low free-position shot. Nine of the 17 goals scored in the contest came on free-position attempts. Colby took the lead for good at 20:38 on a high bouncer from the free position for a 6-5 Mule lead. Another Colby goal from the right side at 17:57 made it 7-5 as the teams traded goals to the end with Wesleyan cutting the margin to one and Colby pushing the advantage to two. Maddy Coulter '14 (#3, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) got the game's final goal at 1:24 on a free-position shot, her 12th of the year, giving her three on the day. Wesleyan got the ensuing draw and called timeout. Seconds after the restart, Colby dislodged the ball from a Wesleyan stick and got the ground ball. Colby was able to maintain possession in the Wesleyan end and run out the final 1:05 on the clock to preserve the victory.
Wesleyan keeper Nina Labovich '16 came away with seven saves in the game.
Wesleyan returned to action Wed., April 2, visiting NESCAC and Little Three rival Amherst. The Lord Jeffs, undefeated and ranked #3 nationally, jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 8:45 of play and did not let the Cardinals get closer than two goals the rest of the way on their way to an 8-4 victory. Coulter netted half of Wesleyan's goals while Meredith Smith '17 picked up her team-high 15th of the season and Daphne Kroessler '15 got her first of the year. Wesleyan outshot its host, 17-16, had two more ground balls (19-17) and turned the ball over 18 times at Amherst's 22. But the Lord Jeffs had 10 saves to Wesleyan's five as the difference in the contest.
Wesleyan closed out the week by hosting Williams Sat, April 5, as the Ephs had moved into the #12 spot nationally. The Cardinals forged a 3-3 tie with the Ephs after 25 minutes of play. But a 7-0 Williams run over a nine-minute stretch bewteen the end of the first half and the start of the second period spotted the visitors a 10-3 lead. Williams went on to lock up a 13-5 victory. Wesleyan had three yellow cards assessed in the final three minutes of the first half, triggering a pair of Eph goals with a two-player advantage, and another with a one-man edge in the initial stage of the decisive burst. Wesleyan got a pair of goals from Smith, upping her season total to a team-high 17. Coulter had a goal and an assist as she leads the squad in scoring points with 19 points.
Wesleyan hosted Trinity Tues., April 8 in its latest start. Like Amherst, the #8-ranked Bantams opened up a 4-0 lead in the first half before the Cardinals got on the board with a well-conceived centering pass from Smith to Morgan Moubayed '17, who caught the ball in traffic, turned and fired. Again Trinity picked up the first four goals of the second half for a commanding 8-1 lead. Wesleyan netted two of the final three goals with Abby D'Angelo '14 and Abby Wheeler '17 both making strong runs through the Bantams middle for unassisted tallies and a 9-3 final score.
Wesleyan's path to the NESCAC tournamernt was clear. The Cardinals had to win their final three games, beginning with a contest at Bowdoin Sat., April 12, to have a chance at a spot. The Cardinals found themselves in an early 3-0 hole and never got closer than two against the 16th-ranked Polar Bears as the home squad prevailed, 9-6. Wesleyan had six different goal scorers with Caty Daniels '15 adding an assist as the only Cardinal with two points in the contest. Labovich made seven saves in net.
Wesleyan hosts Tufts in its final home game of the campaign Sat., April 19.