Leading by as many as three goals, including a 7-4 margin early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals found themselves in a 7-7 tie with 10:29 to go. But the scoring for both teams dried up for nearly 10 minutes until Quentin DellaFera '15 (#12, main photo) bolted from behind the net on the left and put home a mid-range shot with :42 left to put Wesleyan ahead. Though Williams won the ensuring faceoff and called timeout with :30 left, Wesleyan got the ball back after the eighth save of the contest by Justin Schick '15 (#35, photo insert lower right) and a ground ball by Sam Stanton '14, allowing the Cardinals to run out the clock for the 8-7 Little Three triumph Sat., April 5. The game was played at MCLA due to field troubles at Williams.
Up next was a trip to Trinity Tues., April 8 for a game against the Bantams. Wesleyan returned with an 11-6 victory under its belt and now sits alone atop the NESCAC standings with a 6-1 conference record. Tufts is 5-1 while all other teams have at least two NESCAC losses. One of them is Bowdoin, which comes to town Sat., April 12 for Weseyan's next encounter.
Wesleyan and Williams combined for just four first-half goals as the score at intermission stood 2-2. But the Cardinals rattled off three straight over the opening 6:39 of the third period to jump out to a 5-2 lead. The markers came from Nate Ryan '15, Niall Devaney '16 and DellaFera. After a pair of Eph tallies, Stanton, who had a game-high six ground balls, got one back just 22 seconds after the last Williams goal to make it 6-4. DellaFera upped the difference to 7-4 at 12:59 of the fourth quarter. Three in a row by Williams in a span of only 1:42 deadlocked the score with 10:29 left.
Schick made his first career start in the net for Wesleyan, having logged just 17 minutes in goal during his first two seasons and another 33 minutes in reserve during 2014 before today.
In goal for the second game in a row, Schick has his best day as a collegian with 14 saves at Trinity. After Trinity scored the game's opening goal just 1:09 into the first period, Wesleyan rattled off the next eight goals to move out to a comfortable 8-1 lead late in the second quarter. The half ended with the Cardinals ahead, 8-2. After the teams traded goals in the third period for a 9-3 Wesleyan margin, the Bantams did narrow the gap to 9-5 before the Cardinals got two of the final three markers for the 11-6 final. Matt Prezioso '15 had a strong game for Wesleyan with two goals and two assists. DellaFera and Remy Lieberman '14 both had a pair of goals. Nate Ryan '15 had one of his better offensive games of the season with a goal and three assists for four points. Wesleyan has now won three in a row vs. the Bantams and 16 of the last 18 meetings while holding a 40-20 edge in the overal series.
(photos courtesy of Tony Vazquez P'14)