The Cardinals dropped their fourth game of the season on Wednesday, suffering a heartbreaking overtime loss to non-conference opponent Wheaton College by the score of 3-2. This was the third time this season that Wesleyan has blown its lead and gone on to lose by one goal.

The Cardinals struck first just over thirteen minutes into the first half, as Steph Brodsky ’09 beat a Wheaton defender to the ball in the circle and sent a perfect pass to forward Amanda Nickels ’08, who netted her first goal of the season.

“The goalie was set up for Steph, so when it got to me, I had a great shot,” Nickels said. “It was nice to finally get one in, after have some good chances so far this season. We have made it a team goal to come out really strong and score the first goal.”

The half closed with Wesleyan leading in the shooting department, 3-2. The Cards started off the second half strong as well. Allie Lynch ’11 sent a long hit from the circle that Adrienne Shea ’08 tipped up to Alex Bean ’11, who directed home her first collegiate goal to give Wesleyan a 2-0 advantage.

Wheaton stepped up itsgame in turn and played a very aggressive second half, out-shooting the Cardinals 6-5 and winning seven penalty corners, which would prove critical. Wheaton started its comeback 52 minutes into the game when Wheaton senior Sara Dimick tipped in a pass to close the gap to one with 18 minutes left in regulation time.

Wesleyan still led in the last minute of play and it appeared that the team would earn its second win of the season. However, with just seconds remaining, Wheaton was awarded a penalty corner. Wheaton’s Alisa Ardito initial shot into the circle was blocked, but Dimick recovered the loose ball and fed an easy pass to teammate Alec Block, who scored to tie the game up with no time left on the clock.

Wesleyan saw a few good chances in overtime as the team earned three penalty corners, but the Cardinals were unable to convert those opportunities. Wheaton, on the other hand, capitalized on a penalty corner for the second time that day, as Ardito again fed a shot to Dimick, who netted the game winner with less than four minutes remaining in overtime. The game winner completed a huge day for Dimick, who had a hand in all three Wheaton goals.

“It is definitely frustrating that we have scored first in a couple of games but unfortunately haven’t been able to hold onto our leads for the win,” Nickels said. “It is hard to say exactly what we are doing wrong. Hopefully it will all come together this weekend for a big win.”

The Cardinals, who are now 1-4 (0-3 NESCAC), will look to improve their record and better their chances of a tournament bid this Saturday at home versus Connecticut College.

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