Tuesday’s matchup between the Wesleyan women’s soccer team and the Tufts Jumbos looked all too familiar. Just as it did the year before, Wesleyan stepped onto the pitch as the underdog. Identical to the matchup last season, the game dragged on into double overtime. But this time, Wesleyan did not allow Tufts a last-minute goal, and the game ended in a draw.
The undefeated Tufts team entered the match with three wins under its belt. Wesleyan is the only team this season to not give up three points to Tufts, and the draw marked the Cards’ inaugural point of the season.
Tufts opened up the game in dynamic fashion, firing off three shots in the first three minutes of the game. The Jumbos would go on to record 19 shots on the day, only 6 of which were on goal. Wesleyan goalkeeper Jessica Tollman ’15 kept the Cards in the game with six clutch saves.
Madeline Keane ’16 looked extremely threatening in the first half. With her eye on the goal, she posted three shots in the first 45 minutes but was unable to find the back of the net.
After a scoreless half with little maintained possession for either team, the second half took an exciting turn as Meghan Cunningham ’17 played the ball back to Hannah Stone ’15 just outside the 18-yard box in the 47th minute. Stone didn’t hesitate and unleashed a firecracker of a shot that the Tufts goalkeeper could not handle. Stone’s first goal of the year put the Cards up 1-0.
Before Wesleyan could settle down and even think about managing the game, Tufts forward Jessica Capone served a ball into the box that led to a miss-hit clearance landing in the back of Wesleyan’s own goal.
After both teams put on commendable defensive efforts for the remainder of the second half, Wesleyan entered the first half of overtime with vigor, with Kaylie Williams ’16 getting a shot on goal in the first five minutes. The Redbirds could not find that final piece of the puzzle, though, and neither could Tufts.
Wesleyan’s record now stands at 0-4-1, and 0-1-1 in the NESCAC. The Cards still have eight NESCAC games to play, one of which is on the road against Bates this Saturday. The Bobcats stand at 3-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC, and have scored eight goals in their four games while Wesleyan has tallied only three in five games. Bates also recently lost to the Jumbos 6-0.
Bates’ home-field advantage could play a massive role in Saturday’s game, as the Bobcats have not lost a single game in Lewiston, Maine this season.
Currently, Wesleyan stands at eighth place in the NESCAC. With the Bobcats knotted up in a four-way tie for fourth with Conn College, Amherst, and Hamilton, this meeting between the two teams could shake up the table quite a bit. Last season, Wesleyan and Bates went to double overtime before ending in a 1-1 draw, so Saturday’s matchup will be no cakewalk.