Men’s Soccer Strong Against Bowdoin
Coming into the season, the men’s soccer team felt that it had something to prove in the wake of last year’s late-season collapse. The sure-fire way to prove that the team’s troubles would remain in the past was to send a message in the very first game. From the opening kick against strong NESCAC opponent Bowdoin, the team did just that. With a stone wall in goal, solid defense, terrific ball movement, and a rapid-fire assault on goal, the Cardinals handily won their season opener 2-0.
Starter Noah Schlesinger ’13 described the team as “totally dominant” in the opening half, and indeed, the score sheet reflected that assertion. Wesleyan played a fast-paced, attacking style, and the Cardinals outshot Bowdoin 12-5 at the break. Of those 12 shots, two found the back of the net, which gave Wesleyan a 2-0 lead by the 29th minute. The Cardinals played defensively for the remainder of the game in order to secure the win.
Wesleyan’s first goal came in the 22nd minute. Midfielder Daniel Issroff ’15 took a shot from inside the box that found the net after glancing off of a defender. It was Issroff’s first collegiate goal after a year-long wait. His first assist didn’t take much longer. Eight minutes later, he curled a corner kick to the back post, where defender Spencer Tanaka ’15 volleyed it home to provide some added insurance.
“This may be one of the strongest teams that I have played on,” Evan Hazelett ’13 said. “The defense, the offense—every piece is there. It is just a matter of execution at this point.”
Hazelett’s words may be prophetic, as this win clearly sends a message: not only can Wes play with any team in the NESCAC, but the Cardinals can dominate even the best competition. Seven of Wesleyan’s 11 starters are in their senior year, and if the team can take advantage of their formidable experience, it will certainly contend for a title, and perhaps even an NCAA championship.
The team returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at Springfield College.