Hosting the annual Wesleyan Round Robin, the Cardinals began activity Sat., Dec. 7 by rolling past Smith, 9-0, without losing a game while no player gave up more than three points in a game. Then facing William Smith, ranked 25th nationally, Sun, Dec. 8, the 20th-ranked Cardinals made relatively short work of the match, winning 9-0. Only one match was not decided by a 3-0 count. Wesleyan concluded the weekend and first semester action taking on Mount Holyoke, ranked 21st, Sunday as well. It came right down to the wire and the Lyons escaped with a 5-4 triumph. As a result, the Cardinals take the turn into 2014 sporting a 6-1 record. Wesleyan's four wins vs. Mount Holyoke came from #5 Nell Schwed '14 (main photo), #6 Claire Miller '15 (photo insert upper right), #8 Miranda Linsky '14 and #9 Hannah Plon '14 (photo insert lower right). Schwed, Miller and Plon all took their matches by a 3-0 score as each went 3-0 over the weekend without yielding a game. Linsky won her match, 3-2, coming through 12-10 in the fifth game. All four stand 7-0 on the season.
Winning the final two points of his #1 match against Brown to secure a 13-11 victory in the fifth and deciding game, John Steele '14 (photo) made a 5-4 victor of Wesleyan during its last match of the first semester at Brown Sat., Dec. 7. That match followed a comfortable 9-0 win vs. Northeastern to start the day as Wesleyan finished the first semester with a 5-1 mark. Wesleyan was ranked 19th nationally in the poll of 11/24. Brown held the #15 spot. Steele forged a 2-1 lead in his match against Brown's Blake Reinson before falling in the fourth game. Steele faced Reinson in his final match of the 2012-13 season during the national individual tournament, losing a 3-1 decison. This time, however, Steele's effort in the fifth game complemented the wins of #2 Guy Davidson '16, 3-1; #6 Raheem Logan '16, 3-1; #8 Chris Hart '17, 3-2 (11-5 in the fifth game); and #9 Alex Kamisher, 3-0. Kamisher was most decisive for the Cardinals as he outscored his Brown rival, 33-17, over the three games. For his performance over the weekend, Steele was honored by the College Squash Association (CSA) as its men's Player of the Week.
Elliott Vorel '17 (#9, right side photo) extended his point-scoring streak to all eight games Wesleyan has played this season, doing so in dramatic fashion as the nation's leading Division III scorer posted his first career hat trick, leading the Cardinals to a 6-2 men's ice hockey win over visiting Hobart Sat., Dec. 7. It was the first meeting of the teams in nine seasons and improved Wesleyan's all-time record in the series to 5-1. Wesleyan is off until next year as the Cardinals skate again Sat., Jan. 4 at home against New England College. Vorel got things started for Wesleyan just 4:30 into the contest as he chased down a puck sent from Wesleyan's end into the Hobart zone by Jackson Brandstetter '14, then moved from the left circle in front to beat Hobart keeper. While it took the Statesmen just 11 seconds to respond as Hobart won a right-circle faceoff fired a slapper past Cardinal keeper Dawson Sprigings '17 to make it 1-1, Wesleyan went on to score the next five goals to open up a 6-1 lead less than six minutes into the third period. Hobart got the final goal with six minutes remaining.
With 10 grapplers representing Wesleyan at the annual RIT Invitational Sat., Dec. 7, eight Cardinals placed among the to six in their weight class to help Wesleyan place fifth of 11 teams in the competition. Tops among the Cardinal contingent were James Hamilton '16 (main photo) at 133 pounds, Mike Baratz '15 (photo insert lower right) at 157 pounds and Simon Levin '16 (photo insert upper right) at 174 pounds. Going 3-1 at 133, Hamilton placed second among 16 entries with a technical fall and a pair of major decisions before falling 4-0 in the finals. Baratz posted a 4-1 mark at 157 in a field of 16 wrestlers to secure the title in the consolation side of the bracket. At 174, Levin was extremely impressive in the nature of his wins while going 5-1 among 17 entrants. Four of his five victories came via pin, three of them in the first minute of action.
Leading from start to finish, Wesleyan rolled to a 56-34 women's basketball victory over visiting Worcester St. Thurs., Dec. 5 in non-conference action. The teams have now split the four all-time games played between the schools with Wesleyan winning the last two. Jumping out to a 9-3 margin after the opening 5:14, the Cardinals pushed the margin to 18-5 after 13 minutes of play and extended the difference to a 32-13 edge at intermission. Worcester made just four of 29 attempts (13.8 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes while Wesleyan hit 39.3 percent. The lead grew as large as 26 in the second half, peaking at 51-25 with 9:10 remaining. Worcester got as close as 19 in the closing moments before a final Wesleyan trey accounted for the 22-point win. Wesleyan was led by Kaylie Williams '16 (#20, photo), who took game-high honors in points and rebounds with 12 and nine, respectively.
Visiting Salve Regina led for only 46 seconds during its matchup against non-conference rival Wesleyan Tues, Dec. 3, but it was long enough to skate away with a 3-2 victory in the final game of the first semester for Wesleyan. Wesleyan plays again at home Fri., Jan. 3 against St. Catherine's of Minnesota. Wesleyan assumed a 1-0 lead at 17:24 of the second period when Jordan Schildhaus '15 stuffed in the rebound of a junior Cara Jankowski '15 shot that had been saved by the Seahawk keeper. Jankowski's shot came after a crossing pass from Jessica Brennan '17 (#23 main photo). The goal came on the power play and was the second goal of the season for Schildhaus. Salve tied the game just 1:17 later when the Seahawks threw the puck toward the Wesleyan net from several feet below the goal line on the left side. The puck hit the back of Rivard's pad and ricocheted into the goal. Wesleyan regained the lead with 7:10 to play on a perfectly placed slapshot from the right circle by Brennan, her team-best fourth goal of the campaign, that went in just inside the right post waist high after receiving a cross-ice pass from Jankowski, again with Wesleyan on the power play.
Amber Wessells '14 (#22, left side photo) broke a 64-64 tie at the 1:15 mark of the second half with a three pointer from high on the left side, giving Wesleyan the lead for good as the Cardinals hung on to defeat the visiting St. Joseph Blue Jays, 70-66, Sun., Dec. 1. The victory improved Wesleyan's all-time record vs. St. Joe to 12-1. Each team generated a reasonable lead in the contest, Wesleyan with a 23-14 edge in the opening period and St. Joe, 54-45 at the 13-minute mark of the second half. The Cardinals narrowed the gap to two, 54-52, two minutes later on a three-pointer by Dreisen Heath '15 and a pair of inside baskets from Kaylie Williams '16 for seven straight points.
Getting balanced scoring, including 10 points from tournament MVP Rashid Epps '16 (right side in photo) and 11 points from all-tournament team choice BJ Davis '16 (left side in photo), Wesleyan broke a 14-14 tie with 14:03 to go in the first half on a three-pointer by Harry Rafferty '17 (team-high 14 points) and never looked back en route to a 75-64 win over host UMass Boston to take the title in the 29th annual Harbor Invitational Sat., Nov. 30. Wesleyan had taken the Harbor Invite title exactly 12 years ago to the day with a 78-71 victory over UMB, the last time the Cardinals took part in the proceedings. After going ahead 17-14, Wesleyan used the trey as impetus to finish the half on a 33-17 run, taking a 47-31 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Cardinals shot 46 percent in the opening 20 minutes and went 6-for-12 on three-pointers to open up the 16-point bulge.
Elliott Vorel '17 (#9, main photo) took a lead pass from Jaren Taenaka '16 and wristed home a rising shot from the slot with 15 minutes remaining in the third period to even the score between the Cardinals and the visiting Wentworth Institute Leopards at 2-2. The score stayed unchanged over the final 20 minutes of the contest Sat., Nov. 30, including a five-minute overtime. For Vorel, it was his team-leading seventh goal of the year to go along with seven assists for 14 points. He now has scored at least one point in each of his six collegiate contests. Wesleyan had gotten on the board first at 8:53 of the opening period when Alex Carlacci '16 snapped off a rising shot from the left circle that hit the middle of the twine behind the Wentworth keeper. Keith Buehler '14 set up the play with a pass to Carlacci.
Scoring a career-high 17 points while grabbing 14 rebunds, his fifth duble-double in six games this season, Rashid Epps '16 (#00, left side of photo) paced Wesleyan to a comfortable 74-59 victory over Emerson in the first round of the Harbor Invitational at UMass Boston Fri., Nov. 29. The win puts the Cardinals in the championship contest Sat, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. against the host, which downed St. Joseph's (Vt.), 84-68, in its first-round matchup. The game will have both LiveStats and a webcast. Wesleyan took the lead for good 3:25 into the contest when Harry Raffery '17 (#22, right side photo) buried a three-pointer from the right corner off an assist by Epps to spot Wesleyan a 5-2 lead. Joe Edmonds '16 canned a trey with 9:32 left in the first half to give Wesleyan its first double-digit advantage, 24-12.