Weekend Road Trip Leads to Split for Women’s Soccer
This weekend women’s soccer took a quick vacation up to the great state of Maine. However, the trip was not the team’s way of getting a head start on Fall Break. Instead, Wesleyan got a double dose of NESCAC action against rivals Colby and Bates. The weekend slate had its ups and downs for the squad, which started off with a 3-1 victory against Bates and ended with a 2-0 loss at Colby.
The split decisions for the Cardinals represent the sense of duality that has pervaded the team’s season thus far. Sometimes, fans bear witness to the masterful, ball-controlling, and goal-scoring Cardinals, while other times they watch stifled, uninspired, and jumbled Cardinals. As the season dwindles to a close with only a handful of conference games remaining, it remains to be seen which side will prevail.
The match against Bates revealed a level of resilience that had not yet been seen in the Cardinals this season. After a defensive slip-up resulted in a first half goal for the home squad in the 21st minute, Wesleyan regrouped and quickly regained their focus. The Cards matched the Bates goal less than a minute later when Mikaela Curtin ’13 tied the score with a shot off of a deflection in the Bobcat box. Twenty minutes later, the Cardinals decided to put away the game for good. Hot off of a hat trick at Elms College, quad-captain Laura Kurash ’13 refused to cool down. Receiving a laser of a ground pass from Kerry Doyle ’14, Kurash turned toward net and let rip a beauty of a left-footed strike from 20 yards out.
The blast from Kurash eventually proved to be the game-winning goal for the Cardinals. After a breathstopping save by keeper Jess Tollman ’15 in the 39th minute, the Cardinals readjusted their strategy slightly during the half. They were able to elude the Bates defense for a third time in the 55th minute, when Beth Alexion ’16 cashed in on a solo run on the net for an insurance goal. The match marks the first come-from-behind victory for the Cards this season.
After winning two straight games, the Cards traveled a short distance to take on the Mules of Colby College the next day. However, the wrong Cardinal squad came to play on Sunday. The Mules were able to capitalize on sloppy defensive clearances by the Cardinals in the 23rd and 59th minutes of the match to put goals past keeper Tollman and secure a victory against the Wes squad. Despite allowing two goals, Tollman put up a valiant effort, saving five shots in 82 minutes of play. The loss puts to rest a six-game unbeaten streak the Cardinals held over Colby spanning back to 2006. The weekend matches put the Cardinals at 4-5-1 for the year and 2-5-1 in NESCAC play. With only four regular season games remaining, the Cards look to snatch as many points away from their rivals as possible. The final outing before Fall Break for the Cards will be away against Roger Williams University this coming Wednesday.