Cards Lead #12 Tufts Thru 20 Mins. but Fall to Jumbos, 18-13, Then Lose to #4 Trinity & #6 Colby
Moving out to a 5-2 edge 11:30 into the game and maintaining a 7-5 margin 20 minutes into the contest, Wesleyan fell behind #12-ranked Tufts at halftime, 8-7, and never regained the lead as the Jumbos pulled away for an 18-13 NESCAC win.
The Cardinals returned home for their next outing, facing undefeated and fourth-rated Trinity Wed., April 7. Trinity used a 7-0 run in the first half to take charge and went on for a 16-8 decision.
Against Tufts, the Cardinals got three goals from goal-scoring leader Jess Chukwu '11 (#23, right side of photo) and two goals, two assists from top point-getter Allie Lynch '11 (#10, left side of photo). Lynch now has 27 points on four goals and 23 assists while Chukwu has caught the twine 19 times this season.
Erasing the 7-5 deficit by netting eight of the next nine goals for a 13-8 lead with 19 minutes left, Tufts did not allow Wesleyan to get any closer than three goals (15-12) before closing out its fifth victory over the Cardinals in the last six encounters. Wesleyan captured the 2007 battle in Medford, 12-9.
The Cardinals were not far behind the Jumbos in shots (36-30), ground balls (24-16) or draws (17-16) over the course of Saturday's meeting. Goalie Maggie Drowica '12 amassed 12 stops in the Cardinal net.
In the Trinity outing, Lynch had a goal and three assists in bringing her seasonal total to 31 points (5 Gs, 26 As) while Chukwu added a pair of goals, bringing her team-high tally figure to 21. Still, Trinity led 7-1 midway through the first half and held an 11-3 edge at intermission. Wesleyan got no closer that seven in the second period while Trinity led by as many as 11. The Cardinals did all the scoring in the final 10 minutes to cut the final gap to eight.
It didn't get any easier for the squad as Wesleyan faced its third-straight top-12 squad when Colby, ranked sixth, came to Middletown Sat., April 10. WEsleyan got off to a good start once again, leading 3-1 after 7:22 on goals by Erin McCarthy '10, Lydia Kring '13 and Chukwu. But a five-goal run by the Mules in a span of 14:17 spotted the visitors a 6-3 margin, leading to an 8-6 halftime lead. Colby scored three of the opening four goals of the second period for an 11-7 lead with 13:28 left. Colby maintained its lead to the final horn, copping a 13-9 triumph.
Chukwu, Sara Mendelson '13 and Kring each netted two goals for the Cardinals while Lynch had two points on a goal and an assist. Drowica had a big game in goal, equaling her career-high save total of 18 as Colby enjoyed a 35-18 edge in shots.
Wesleyan moves out-of-conference for its next game Sun., April 11, hosting St. John Fisher, a team the Cardinals met in Hilton Head, S.C. for the first time in 2009, coming away with a 13-10 win.
(photos by ChiaraBest.com)