The women’s soccer team played a tough 90 minutes on Saturday, Oct. 5 at home against Colby but ended up losing 1-0. Although the Cardinals finished even with the Mules in shots taken sixteen for each team, Colby was able to put away a corner kick in the 63rd minute, which eventually served as the game-winner.
After blowing out Elms College 4-1 for their first victory of the year, the Cardinals were disappointed with their failure to collect any points on Saturday, especially because the game was against a NESCAC opponent.
“We’re not quite playing to our capabilities,” said Assistant Coach Bill Dudzik. “We’re a much better team than what we’ve shown on the field. We’ve got to look within ourselves to go out there and fight to the best of our abilities.”
Colby’s goal came in the early part of the second half, when a Mule midfielder unleashed a corner kick that ended up near the top of the box, left of the goal. After a short scuffle for the ball, Colby back Amelia Barnett fired a shot that hit the inside part of the right post before crossing the goal line.
Even though the Cardinals actually outshot Colby 9-5 in the second half, the goal proved too much for Wesleyan to overcome. Dudzik felt that the team’s effort in the second half was excellent and that it was just a matter of finishing close-range goals. He said that if the team begins to do that consistently, the results will begin to change.
“It looked like we didn’t bring our game until we were down 1-0,” Dudzik said. “We just need to bring it in from the first minute. If we did that, then obviously there would be a different result.”
Jessica Tollman ’15 made six saves in net for Wesleyan, as she and the Cardinal defense continued their strong play this season. The Cards’ offensive attack was led by Sarah Sylla ’17, who finished with a team-high three shots and two shots on goal.
Although Head Coach Eva Meredith expressed her disappointment after the game, she also praised the team members for their outstanding energy in the last twenty minutes of play.
The loss dropped Wesleyan to 1-4-3, with an 0-3-2 record in NESCAC play. Colby improved to 3-4 overall. The Cards’ three ties are the most in the NESCAC; had one of the ties in NESCAC play been a win for the Cardinals, the team would then be in line for the eighth playoff spot in the conference standings.
At this point in the season last year, Wesleyan had the same number of losses at 3-4-1. To Meredith and Dudzik, this team shows many similarities to last year’s squad, as both coaches believe that the team has the capacity to peak at the right time and make a push for the playoffs.
Up next for the Cardinals is a non-conference matchup at home against Roger Williams University on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The game will be played at Smith Field rather than Jackson Field and will be the only night game for the women’s soccer team this year.
The Cardinals have played Roger Williams in each of the last three years, defeating them every time. However, the Hawks’ success this year has garnered national attention, as the team recently received votes from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to be included in the top 25 rankings for Division III women’s soccer.
Roger Williams is currently 9-2-1, although the team has not played a NESCAC opponent yet. Wesleyan currently has a record of 1-1-1 in non-conference play this year.