Cardinals Finish S.C. Trip vs. St. John Fisher with 13-10 Win, Then Return Home to Down ECSU, 13-6
Scoring 2:09 into the game on a free-position shot by Erin McCarthy '10, Wesleyan took an early lead it never relinquished in defeating St. John Fisher, 13-10, during the team's second and final game in Hilton Head, S.C., Fri., March 13. Following that, Wesleyan played on its own Smith Field Sun., March 15 against Eastern Conn., downing the Warriors for the seventh straight time, 13-6.
Holding a tenuous 4-3 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half vs. St. John Fisher, the Cardinals rattled off the final four scores of the period to assume a comfortable 8-3 halftime edge. Four different players accounted for the goals. Allie Lynch '11 (#10, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) had one of them and also an assist as she would go on to lead the squad in scoring on the day with two goals and three assists for five points.
Wesleyan improved its margin to seven at 13-6 with less than 10 minutes to play. St. John Fisher did put home the final four goals of the contest to make the final score more respectable, all of those goals coming in the last five minutes with numerous Wesleyan substitutes on the field.
In total, 10 different Wesleyan players found the net as only Lynch, Jess Chukwu '11 and Maggie Lile '11 scored twice. Wesleyan posted nearly double the shots of its opponent with a 40-21 advantage.
At home with Eastern Conn., the Cardinals got two goals and two assists from Erin McCarthy '10 (#22, photo insert lower left courtesy of Bob Molta) and three goals from Chukwu as the squad broke away from a 2-2 tie for a 6-2 lead and maintained the margin for an 8-4 halftime margin. Eastern Conn. got no closer than three in the second half and Wesleyan rattled off the final four goals of the game for a comfortable winning margin. Wesleyan is now 7-0 all-time vs. Eastern Conn.
Wesleyan climbed into the top-20 on last week's IWLCA Division III national poll, holding down the #19 position, but had its hands full during its next game Tues., March 17, traveling to sixth-ranked Middlebury. Wesleyan took it to the Panthers over the opening 22 minutes, forging a 3-3 tie. Middlebury scored the final two goals of the first period and the first three goals of the second stanza for an 8-3 edge. Wesleyan got two of the next three with Sarah Orkin '09 netting her second of the game as the gap was four at 9-5 with 18:45 left. The Panthers took over the game, scoring-wise, from that point with a 6-0 flurry to lock up a 15-5 NESCAC victory.
On Sat., March 21, the Cardinals will host Bates in a big NESCAC matchup. These teams met in the regular-season finale a year ago with the winner earning the final spot in the 2008 NESCAC Tournament. That was Wesleyan with an exciting 14-12 decision.