The Birds took a break from matchplay last Sunday to give back to the local Middletown community

The women’s soccer team dropped a crucial NESCAC matchup on Saturday in Clinton, NY, conceding a late, decisive goal to a strong Hamilton side. The loss drops the Cardinals to a 1-2-1 conference record though they are 4-3-1 in all competitions.

Wesleyan’s best scoring chances came in the first half, but both ended the same way, with the ball sailing just over the crossbar. Midway into the half, captain Marisa Yang ’16 took an outside shot, which Hamilton keeper Rachel Cooley just managed to get a finger on, tipping the ball over the bar. Only nine minutes later, Wesleyan found another chance, when captain Kaylie Williams ’16 settled a corner kick just inside the eighteen yard box and sent a rocket toward the Hamilton goal. Sadly, it too cleared the crossbar. Unfortunately, this was it for the Birds, who managed only one additional shot in the remainder of the game.

The Cardinals’ defense did a great job, conceding only seven shots on goal, and keeping the teams deadlocked until the 83rd minute. Keeper Meg Hanan ’18 played well for Wesleyan, making six saves in the losing effort. Just before halftime, she denied the Continentals perhaps their best pure chance of the entire match when she tipped a laser from Hamilton’s Katie Kreider just over the net, preventing what seemed to be a surefire score.

Kreider, however, proved a nuisance for the Red and Black all game long. She narrowly missed another opportunity in the first half, and, with just 7:21 to go in the match, crucially found teammate Victoria Freeman at the top of the box. Freeman sent a shot through traffic, and beat Hanan, giving the Continentals the 1-0 lead and ultimately the win.

The Cardinals travel to Poughkeepsie, NY on Tuesday, where they will take on the Brewers of Vassar College in what is sure to be quite a matchup. Wes looks to polish up their play before returning to the NESCAC schedule on Saturday, with a home contest against Colby College. They will take on the Mules at 1:30 p.m. at Jackson Field.

Despite the loss on Saturday, the squad remained in good spirits, and on Sunday conducted a soccer clinic for local youth. The event, Kicking4Hunger, was organized by Carly Swenson ’17 and Tess Daggett-Edenholm ’17 as the first event hosted by Athletes C.A.R.E. (standing for “Creating Abundant Relief Effort”), a new club the duo has brought to campus.

The clinic invited kids between the ages of 5-13 to come out and learn some tips and tricks from members of the Wesleyan team, play, and have fun. In lieu of payment, the event requested that participants bring canned goods and non-perishables, or make a monetary donation. All proceeds were donated to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown.

Swenson was pleased with the turnout at the event, and hopes to pursue a variety of similar initiatives in the future.

“The Kicking4Hunger Clinic was a great success.” Swenson said. “We had a good turnout and enjoyed playing with the kids for a great cause.”

Athletes C.A.R.E. is 501c3 non-profit organization, consisting of a network of young people at colleges across the country seeking to use their passion as student-athletes to better the lives of others around them.

The relatively young organization continues to grow, and seeks to create service opportunities for college athletes looking to support those in the communities in which they learn and compete. Events and fundraising seek to provide relief for the needy, the hungry, and the homeless.

Wesleyan is the fifth school to open a branch of Athletes C.A.R.E. on its campus, thanks to the efforts of Swenson and Daggett-Edenholm. Other branches include Boston University, Lafayette College, Shippensburg University, and Susquehanna University. So far, the branches have collectively raised over $30k to fight hunger and homelessness.

For more information on how to get involved here at Wesleyan, students can access the club’s page on the WSA website, or check out the Wesleyan blog on the Athletes C.A.R.E. website.

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