Connecticut College rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second half to secure a 3-2 field hockey victory over homestanding Wesleyan in the regular-season finale for both teams Wed., Oct. 29. As a result, the Camels and Cardinals tied with Hamilton for the eighth and final seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament, all with 2-8 league records. Each was 1-1 against the other two and each had beaten Bates for its second conference victory. Thus, the NESCAC office used a random draw to break the tie and Hamilton was awarded the final playoff spot, putting Wesleyan and Conn at season's end. Wesleyan built its 2-0 margin on the team-high eighth goal of the year by Hannah Plappert '16 (#9, photo insert upper left), who bounded a shot from long range inside the left post in the 11th minute to spot the Cardinals an early lead. The shot followed a nice pass from Mackey Hemphill '15 (#13, main photo). Hemphill then pushed in a rebound of a shot taken by Vanessa Block '13 that bounced off the Conn goalie to make it a two-goal lead in the 51st minute. Hemphill finished the year with three goals and three assists.
Dylan Hoy’s '17 free-kick goal was the difference in Wesleyan’s 1-0 victory over Conn. College in the final game of regular-season play Wed., Oct. 29. The Cardinals end the regular season with an 8-5-2 overall record, 6-4 in conference play. Wesleyan will travel to Middlebury as the fifth seed to play the fourth-seeded Panthers in the first round of the NESCAC tournament Sat., Nov. 1. The game will be webcast. This was the fifth consecutive 1-0 game played between the Cardinals and Camels with Wesleyan winning four of them. Wesleyan is now 31-8-2 all-time vs. Conn. Each team had their opportunities to take control of the game with back and forth play. Wesleyan held a 14-12 advantage on shots, and had five corner kicks to the Camels four. But it was Hoy’s free kick from about 22 yards away that snuck over the Conn. College defensive wall and dipped inside the left post to beat the Camel goalie and give the Cardinals the 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute.
Shutting out visiting Bowdoin for the first time since an 18-0 victory in Middletown during the 2006 campaign, Wesleyan raised its football record to 5-1 this season with a 35-0 triumph Sat., Oct. 25. Bowdoin, which had won two of its last three games, dropped to 2-4 on the season. Both teams are back in action Sat., Nov. 1 as Wesleyan travels to Little Three rival Williams (2-4) and Bowdoin hosts Bates (2-4) in its opening C-B-B game of the season. Wesleyan's contest against the Ephs is slated for a webcast and LiveStats. Wesleyan outgained Bowdoin, 417-170, while amassing 24 first downs to Bowdoin's 12. Wesleyan's average starting field position from its 13 possessions was its own 44 while Bowdoin started on average from its own 21. Wesleyan was an efficient 5-for-7 after reaching the red zone today. Bowdoin reached the red zone just once, getting to the Cardinal 20 on its last series in the second period, but a pair of sacks pushed the Polar Bears back to the 37 and brought about a punt. Leading the Cardinal offense with 19 completions in 30 attempts for 181 yards and five TDs was Jesse Warren '15. He connected with Josh Hurwitz '15 (#9, photo upper left) seven times with three of the catches going for six points. Hurwitz had 74 receiving yards.
Wesleyan posted a 2-1 record during the Hall of Fame Classic, hosted by Smith and Amherst Fri./Sat., Oct. 24/25 to improve to 12-10 on the year with one match remaining, that against Bates Fri., Oct. 31. That match will have LiveStats and be webcast. After defeatong host Smith, 3-0, Friday, Wesleyan took on Wheaton in a match at Amherst Saturday. Wheaton prevailed in the outing, 3-0, by scores of 25-20, 25-11 and 25-17. Wesleyah had a tough time in the hitting department, committing more hitting errors than kills recorded. Sarah Swenson '18 (#4, photo insert upper right) led the squad in kills with eight. Standing out defensively for Wesleyan was Rachel Savage '17 (#11, main photo) as she amassed 18 digs. Things went much more the Cardinals' way in the rematch with Hamilton. The teams had played a dramatic five-set affair a week earlier with Wesleyan taking the fifth set, 15-13. It was far less dramatic this time out as Wesleyan captured a 3-0 decision for its 15th consecutive win over Hamilton. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 25-17.
After going scoreless for four straight games, the Cardinals got out of their doldrum at Middlebury Sat., Oct. 25 as Wesleyan scored twice to hold a 2-1 lead with 25 minutes left in the game. But the goals by Sarah Sylla '17 (#19, left side photo) and Marisa Yang '16 (#1, right side photo) weren't quite enough to push the squad to victory as the Panthers tied the count just 34 seconds after Yang's penalty kick at 65:08 spotted Wesleyan the lead, and a Panther marker with just 2:35 left proved to be the deciding goal in the 3-2 Middlebury win. Yang netted her second PK of the season, and third goal overall, scoring on a hard shot to the right side of the net after a Middlebury foul in the penalty area. Wesleyan had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half when a cross by Maddy Keane '16 from the right side found its way to Sylla for a tap in at the left post 21:11 into the contest. It was the second goal of the season for Sylla. Middlebury tied the game in the 33rd minute as the teams went into intermission deadlocked at 1-1.
Meeting for the first time since 2008, Wesleyan and Smith inaugurated the Hall of Fame Classic, being hosted by Smith and Amherst, Fri. and Sat., Oct, 24-25. The Cardinals ran away with a 3-0 victory, evening the all-time record between the squads at 10-10. Tyla Taylor '18 (#10, right side photo) has a very strong match, collected 16 kills while hitting .306 as she accounted for almost half the team's kill total of 33. Naja Lewis '17 (#14, left side photo) was in on four of the team's five blocks with a solo and three assists. The Cardinals also amassed 11 aces in the match, led by Caroline Diemer '18 with three. Claire Larson '15 average 9.5 assists per set in her two sets of action while Heidi Westerman '17 added nine assists in her one set. The team had 36 digs with Rachel Savage '17 top with nine while Taylor was right behind with eight.
Adam Cowie-Haskell’s '18 (#18, right in photo by Peter Stein '84) overtime goal lifted Wesleyan over Amherst, 2-1, in NESCAC action Sat. Oct. 18. The win on Homecoming weekend improves the Cardinals record to 7-3-2 and 5-2 in the NESCAC, while the loss is the first of the year for Amherst as it falls to 10-1-2 and 6-1-2 in NESCAC play. Wesleyan has now won four of its last five contests as it moves towards its final three NESCAC games of the season. Both Wesleyan and Amherst are firmly entrenched in the battle for home spots in the first round of the post-season conference tournament. Wesleyan was to continue NESCAC action on Wed., Oct. 22, hosting Trinity but the game was halted due to lightning early in the second half with Wesleyan leading, 1-0, after a Ben Bratt '15 penalty kick conversion. The game was be replayed in its entirely Thurs., Oct. 23 and Trinity prevailed, 2-1. Amherst came into the contest at Wesleyan riding a 37-game conference unbeaten streak, spanning three years as the Lord Jeffs are the three-time defending NESCAC tournament champions. Amherst had not dropped a game vs. a NESCAC rival since Oct. 26, 2011. The teams played evenly in the first half, with both sides registering five shots and four corner kicks. It wasn’t until Matt Lynch '15 finished a cross at the 12 yard-line from Omar Bravo '15 to give the Cardinals a 1-0 edge at 63:44 that the scoring drought was broken. It was the third goal of the year for Lynch.
After a successful start to the fall with solid results at two invitationals and the ITA regional tournament, the Cardinals got down to business in dual-match fashion Sun., Oct. 12, hosting Hartford and St. Lawrence. Wesleyan blew past Hartford, 9-0, winning all six singles matches in straight sets with five freshmen occupying the top five spots on the ladder. Most emphatic with their triumphs were #1 Eudice Chong '18 (left side photo) with a 6-0, 6-1 decision, and #4 Helen Klass-Warch '18 (right side photo) with a 6-0, 6-0 win. The two also combined for an 8-2 conquering at #1 doubles. Also winning at #2 singles and #2 doubles was Aashli Budhiraja '18 while Dasha Dubinsky '18 joined her at #2 doubles and took her singles match at #5. Nicole McCann '18 produced a win at #3 singles and #3 doubles, paired with Emma Lindholm-Uzzi '17, who took her match at #6 singles.
In a battle of conference unbeatens, visiting Amherst College got four field goals and three extra points from senior kicker Phillip Nwosu, accounting for 15 of Amherst 33 points in a 33-30 overtime victory at Little Three rival Wesleyan University Sat., Oct. 18. Nwosu hit his final three-pointer of the day from 35 yards out for the deciding points in overtime as Wesleyan was stopped on a 4th-and-1 run at the Amherst 3-yard line during its overtime possession. Amherst and Trinity remain the undefeated teams in the NESCAC at 5-0 and meet Sat., Nov. 1 in Hartford, Conn. Before that, Amherst hosts Tufts (3-2) Sat., Oct. 25 while Wesleyan (4-1) hosts Bowdoin (2-3) and Trinity hosts Middlebury next Saturday. Nwosu blasted a 41-yard field goal with :23 left to send the game into overtime as Amherst played catchup most of the afternoon. Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead at 7:25 of the first quarter and trailed by a point briefly in the third period until sophomore Nick Kelly capped a quick six-play, 39-yard drive at 11:03 of the fourth quarter, spotting the Lord Jeffs their largest lead at 27-23. That came after a junior Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn interception. The lead lasted 7:10 as Wesleyan regained the advantage, 30-27, on a 68-yard catch and run by Jay Fabien '15 (#80, right-side photo) off a well-thrown pass by Jesse Warren '15 (#2, left-side photo) up the left sideline.
With just five points separating the teams over the course of the match, Wesleyan broke away from a 9-9 tie in the fifth and deciding set on a kill by Caroline Diemer '18 to take the lead for good, 10-9, and got the final point on the match-high 19th kill by Tyla Taylor '18 (#10, photo upper left) for a 15-13 win to lock up its 14th consecutive victory over NESCAC rival Hamilton, 3-2, Fri., Oct. 17. The Cardinals are now 5-0 in five-set matches this season, two of them NESCAC wins. Wesleyan hosted Middlebury Sat., Oct. 18 to close out its NESCSAC weekend. After a promsing start with a 25-16 win, the Cardials dropped three sets to fall by a 3-1 count. Right behind Taylor with 18 kills vs. Hamilton was Sarah Swenson '18 (#4, photo upper right). Diemer finished with 12 kills. Setter Claire Larson '15 racked up 59 assists for Wesleyan while libero Rachel Savage '17 (#11, main photo) had a match-best 31 digs. Wesleyan's Naja Lewis '17 led the way in the blocks department with seven.