Field Hockey Triumphs Over Colby, Defeated by Middlebury
Wesleyan field hockey co-captain Morgan McCauley ’12 led the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory over Colby College on Sunday at Smith field, by scoring three goals and adding an assist as the team rebounded from a 6-1 Saturday loss to 12th ranked Middlebury.
The Cardinals set the tone early in the game, tallying the first goal just four minutes after the opening whistle. Wesleyan co-captain Liz Chabot ’12 initiated play from a penalty corner, by sending in a pass to McCauley who settled the ball at the top of the circle and sent a shot into the lower right corner of the cage to stake Wesleyan to a 1-0 lead.
Wesleyan again converted on a penalty corner just two minutes later to put a second goal up on the scoreboard. Midfielder Vanessa Block ’15 secured the initial pass at the top of the circle and sent the ball out to Ashley McLaren ’13 on the right side, whose shot at the Colby cage was saved by the goalkeeper. McCauley’s shot on goal off the rebound was denied by the keeper, but Blair Ingraham ’14 secured the loose ball and her shot on goal found the back of the cage to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead that they would carry into halftime.
Creating chances and peppering the Colby goal with shots, the Cardinals continued the offensive pressure in the second half. Wesleyan initiated a great scoring opportunity just minutes in as Chabot and McCauley combined on a give-and-go play; they streaked down the field towards the Colby goal, with Chabot’s shot rolling just wide of the goal and past the stick of a diving McCauley who attempted to redirect the ball.
The Wesleyan 2-0 lead held until late in the contest, when the Cardinals added two quick goals with less than 10 minutes to play. McCauley added her second of the game on a converted penalty corner set up by Chabot. Ingraham initiated the play that led to Wesleyan’s final goal of the game, securing the ball near the right end line and making a run towards the center of the field. Ingraham found McCauley with a pass to the middle and McCauley put a shot on goal past the Colby goalkeeper to notch her third of the game for a hat trick. The Cardinals came away with a 4-0 victory as Wesleyan goalkeeper Tori Redding ’13 recorded her third shutout of the season.
Earlier in the weekend the Cardinals fell to 12th ranked Middlebury College in a hard fought contest that saw the Panthers pull away in the second half. The first half saw Middlebury take a 2-0 lead on goals by Lauren Greer and Charlotte Gardiner before Wesleyan responded with a goal 10 minutes before the half as Taylor Wells ’14 directed a pass to McCauley in front of the Panthers goal. McCauley finished with a shot down low that cut the Middlebury lead in half, with the Cardinals trailing 2-1 at halftime.
The second half brought a barrage of shots on the Wesleyan goal, as the Panthers rattled off four goals to pull away. Middlebury got goals from Catherine Fowler and Heather Karpas, while Greer notched two more to finish the game with a hat trick. Middlebury held a 27-4 shot advantage in the contest, with Wesleyan goalkeeper Redding making 14 saves as the Cardinals emerged on the losing end of a 6-1 score line.
The 4-0 victory over Colby on Sunday was just the response that the Cardinals needed following the loss at Middlebury. They set the tone early with a high-pressure offense that took advantage of scoring opportunities and were able to establish an early lead.
“Our execution on penalty corners and second effort on shots on goal were really key to our win today,” Redding said after the game on Sunday.
The Cardinals will travel to play UMASS Dartmouth on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. before returning to NESCAC action this Saturday to host Bates College at noon on Smith field.