Laura Kurash '13 Makes Triumphant Return to the Lineup, Scores Golden Goal for Win Over Bates
After missing eight games due to injury, Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo) returned to the Cardinals' lineup vs. Bates Sat., Oct. 17, and made her presence felt with a goal and an assist in the Cardinals' 2-1 overtime victory. Kurash netted the golden goal in the extra frame just 3:48 into overtime after setting up Dasha Battelle '11 in the first half for Wesleyan opening score.
Battelle's goal spotted Wesleyan a 1-0 halftime edge before Bates knotted the count less than five minutes into the second half. Following 40 more minutes of scoreless regulation play, the teams entered overtime where Kurash collared a loose ball in the Bates box and just slipped a shot past the Bobcat netminder for her fifth goal of the season. With her three points in the game, Kurash regain her spot atop the Cardinals' scoring list with 13 points despite playing in only four of the team's 12 contests. Right behind are Battelle and Katrina Ellis-Ferrara '13 with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
In the Wesleyan net, Kate Connolly-Smithwick '13 made three stops as she aided the cause which has allowed Wesleyan to clinch its second straight regular-season winning record with a 7-4-1 mark. Wesleyan also secured its second straight NESCAC tournament bid with a 3-4 conference mark at the time.
Wesleyan then hit the pitch at Amherst in a Little Three and NESCAC contest vs. the Lord Jeffs, ranked #15 nationally, Sat., Oct. 24. Amherst outshot Wesleyan, 19-6, and despite 11 saves from Connolly-Smithwick, Amherst prevailed, 2-0, dropping the squad to 7-5-1, 3-5-0 NESCAC.
Wesleyan will go into its final regular-season game at Conn. College tied for sixth in the NESCAC standings with Bowdoin. With a win over the Camels and some help from Tufts, which plays Bowdoin, and Amherst, which takes on fifth-place Trinity, the Cardinals can be seeded as high as fifth in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. A loss could leave Wesleyan as low as eighth.