Leah Sherman '15 (#21, right side photo) posted a hat trick, her second of the season, and Hannah Plappert '16 (#19, left side photo) added two goals to lead homestanding Wesleyan to a 10-5 win over Wheaton Wed., March 12. It was the first meeting between the teams in five years and extended Wesleyan dominance of the series to 13-2, including 13 in a row since 1986.
Wesleyan broke the game open with a five-goal run in a span of 5:41 during the first half, snapping a 2-2 tie with 19:31 remaining in the first half, to lead 7-2 with 8:37 left in the period. The halftime score was 7-3. When Wesleyan netted the first two goals of the second half, the Cardinals held the largest margin of the game, 9-3, with 16:26 to go. Wheaton cut the gap to 9-5 at the 5:17 mark before Wesleyan ended the day's scoring in the final minute as Sherman completed her hat trick, catching a pass from the right side by Martha Harding '16 and firing a high shot past the Wheaton keeper. Wesleyan held a substantial 33-14 edge in total shots.
The teams traded goals in the opening 10:29 of the game with Wesleyan leading 1-0 and 2-1 before being tied twice. Plappert took the opening draw for the Cardinals and raced half the field to score on a low rolling shot just :11 into the contest. Wheaton responded 1:06 later to make it, 1-1. Wesleyan again led by a goal when Caty Daniels '15 tossed a high free-position shot into an open net at 25:57. The Lyons goalie had been flagged for a yellow card and had to start behind Daniels, leaving the net vacant. Wheaton again evened the count at 19:31, 2-2.
Meredith Smith '17 then started the five-goal Wesleyan burst at 14:18 with her third goal of the year off a feed from low on the left by Liana Mathias '17. Plappert bounced one in from the right side to make it 4-2, followed by goals from Sherman, Harding and Emily Gretsky '16 on an end-to-end run with a high shot while cutting from right to left in front of the net at 9:47 for the 7-2 lead. Wheaton ended the scoring in the period with a fast break at 2:23.
Abby Wheeler '17, off good penetration for a bouncer, and Sherman, who slung in a shot from the right, made it 9-3 for Wesleyan at 16:26. Wheaton got the next two with the second coming off a rebound after a stop by goalie Nina Labovich '16, who finished with seven saves. Sherman closed out the scoring at :38 for Wesleyan's 10th marker.
Wesleyan cleared the ball 18 times in 18 tries on the day while Wheaton dominated the draws, winning 12 of 17 in the contest.
Wesleyan was back in action Sat., March 15, traveling to Middlebury, ranked third nationally in Division III, for a NESCAC game. The Cardinals, behind the first career hat trick of Meredith Smith '17, hung with the Panthers through 42 miniuutes of action as the teams were tied, 4-4. Wesleyan had scored three straight goals, a natural hat trick by Smith, with the final two goals of the first half and the opening goal of the second period at 27:52, to erase a 4-1 deficit. But Middlebury broke the tie at 17:11 of the second half and went on to tally six consecutive goals, the first five in a span of 8:01, to lock up the win. Middlebury generated a 26-13 edge in shots and Labovich produced 10 saves in the Cardinal net.
Wesleyan returns to action Wed., March 19, traveling to Wellesley for non-conference play.