Men’s Soccer Dominates Bates on Home Field 3-0
Men’s soccer took to the pitch on Saturday at noon and attained victory in convincing fashion, defeating the visiting Bates Bobcats by a score of 3-0. With the win, the Cardinals improved their conference record to 7-0-1 (8-0-2 overall), fortified their position at the helm of the league, and clinched home-field advantage in the NESCAC quarterfinal match to be played on Saturday, Oct. 29. Meanwhile, the Bobcats’ conference record dropped to 0-6 (2-6 overall).
The Cardinals stayed true to their style and foiled Bates with a combination of deft short passing that allowed for extended periods of possession and a strong defense that stymied opportunities once the Bobcats did manage to make steals. While this pattern persisted for virtually the entirety of the match, early on it appeared as though the underdogs from Maine might just have had what it took to disrupt undefeated Wesleyan’s smooth sailing. In the third minute, a Bobcat forward appeared to sneak a close-range tapper from the right post past goaltender Adam Purdy ’13, a result which would have left the Cardinals trailing an opponent for the first time all season. However, the official ruled that the player fouled Purdy on the attempt, and the goal was not upheld.
Any excitement from the close call that lingered amongst Bates was effectually quashed moments later. In the ninth minute, Cardinal midfielder Steve Paresi ’13 lofted a pass toward the middle of the Bobcat box, where midfielder Rory O’Neill ’13 cinched a bounding header into the right side of the net from several yards out. Following several more close attempts, the Cards struck again in the 28th minute as O’Neill crossed a ball from the left side of the box to forward Walter Rodriguez ’13, who drilled it into the right side of the net. An even 60 minutes later, Rodriguez assisted O’Neill on a similar play that left Wesleyan up 3-0 once the whistle blew. O’Neill has currently scored six goals this season while Rodriguez has scored four, making them the team leaders in that category.
With Saturday’s win, Wesleyan achieved its widest margin of victory thus far in 2011 and extended its streak of holding opponents scoreless to five consecutive matches. The Cardinals look to continue their commanding play this Tuesday at 7p.m., as they challenge Western Connecticut State University (1-8-2) of the Little East Conference on their home turf in Danbury.