Adam Cowie-Haskell’s '18 (#18, right in photo by Peter Stein '84) overtime goal lifted Wesleyan over Amherst, 2-1, in NESCAC action Sat. Oct. 18. The win on Homecoming weekend improves the Cardinals record to 7-3-2 and 5-2 in the NESCAC, while the loss is the first of the year for Amherst as it falls to 10-1-2 and 6-1-2 in NESCAC play. Wesleyan has now won four of its last five contests as it moves towards its final three NESCAC games of the season. Both Wesleyan and Amherst are firmly entrenched in the battle for home spots in the first round of the post-season conference tournament. Wesleyan continues NESCAC action on Tues., Oct. 21, hosting Trinity in a game slated for a webcast. The teams played evenly in the first half, with both sides registering five shots and four corner kicks. It wasn’t until Matt Lynch '15 finished a cross at the 12 yard-line from Omar Bravo '15 to give the Cardinals a 1-0 edge at 63:44 that the scoring drought was broken. It was the third goal of the year for Lynch.
After a successful start to the fall with solid results at two invitationals and the ITA regional tournament, the Cardinals got down to business in dual-match fashion Sun., Oct. 12, hosting Hartford and St. Lawrence. Wesleyan blew past Hartford, 9-0, winning all six singles matches in straight sets with five freshmen occupying the top five spots on the ladder. Most emphatic with their triumphs were #1 Eudice Chong '18 (left side photo) with a 6-0, 6-1 decision, and #4 Helen Klass-Warch '18 (right side photo) with a 6-0, 6-0 win. The two also combined for an 8-2 conquering at #1 doubles. Also winning at #2 singles and #2 doubles was Aashli Budhiraja '18 while Dasha Dubinsky '18 joined her at #2 doubles and took her singles match at #5. Nicole McCann '18 produced a win at #3 singles and #3 doubles, paired with Emma Lindholm-Uzzi '17, who took her match at #6 singles.
In a battle of conference unbeatens, visiting Amherst College got four field goals and three extra points from senior kicker Phillip Nwosu, accounting for 15 of Amherst 33 points in a 33-30 overtime victory at Little Three rival Wesleyan University Sat., Oct. 18. Nwosu hit his final three-pointer of the day from 35 yards out for the deciding points in overtime as Wesleyan was stopped on a 4th-and-1 run at the Amherst 3-yard line during its overtime possession. Amherst and Trinity remain the undefeated teams in the NESCAC at 5-0 and meet Sat., Nov. 1 in Hartford, Conn. Before that, Amherst hosts Tufts (3-2) Sat., Oct. 25 while Wesleyan (4-1) hosts Bowdoin (2-3) and Trinity hosts Middlebury next Saturday. Nwosu blasted a 41-yard field goal with :23 left to send the game into overtime as Amherst played catchup most of the afternoon. Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead at 7:25 of the first quarter and trailed by a point briefly in the third period until sophomore Nick Kelly capped a quick six-play, 39-yard drive at 11:03 of the fourth quarter, spotting the Lord Jeffs their largest lead at 27-23. That came after a junior Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn interception. The lead lasted 7:10 as Wesleyan regained the advantage, 30-27, on a 68-yard catch and run by Jay Fabien '15 (#80, right-side photo) off a well-thrown pass by Jesse Warren '15 (#2, left-side photo) up the left sideline.
With just five points separating the teams over the course of the match, Wesleyan broke away from a 9-9 tie in the fifth and deciding set on a kill by Caroline Diemer '18 to take the lead for good, 10-9, and got the final point on the match-high 19th kill by Tyla Taylor '18 (#10, photo upper left) for a 15-13 win to lock up its 14th consecutive victory over NESCAC rival Hamilton, 3-2, Fri., Oct. 17. The Cardinals are now 5-0 in five-set matches this season, two of them NESCAC wins. Wesleyan hosted Middlebury Sat., Oct. 18 to close out its NESCSAC weekend. After a promsing start with a 25-16 win, the Cardials dropped three sets to fall by a 3-1 count. Right behind Taylor with 18 kills vs. Hamilton was Sarah Swenson '18 (#4, photo upper right). Diemer finished with 12 kills. Setter Claire Larson '15 racked up 59 assists for Wesleyan while libero Rachel Savage '17 (#11, main photo) had a match-best 31 digs. Wesleyan's Naja Lewis '17 led the way in the blocks department with seven.
UMass Dartmouth elevated a shot from in front of the right post midway in the scoring circle past Cardinal goalie Claire Edelman '17, making her first career start, six minutes into sudden-victory overtime to make an instant winner of the visiting Corsairs Thurs., Oct. 16. The goal was a redirect of a shot from the top of the circle shortly after a penalty corner by the Corsairs. Usually a five-on-three situation in overtime not including the goalie, Wesleyan had a player sent away from the area for leaving early on the initial corner, giving UMass a five-on-two advantage and the Corsairs made it count. The goal gave the Corsairs their first win over Wesleyan in five all-time meetings, all between 2010 and 2014. Wesleyan had captured the previous four outings by a collective 14-3 score. UMass drew first blood in the contest, getting a goal in the ninth minute with a pass across the circle to an open player just five feet from the left post after the onset of a penalty corner. The lead held up for more than 40 minutes but the Cardinals tied the count at 1-1 when Hannah Plappert '16 (#9, photo) converted a penalty stroke in the 50th minute with a low shot to the right side of the UMass cage.
Playing Elms for the third time in the last three seasons, the Cardinals did something the last two squads were unable to do ... shut out the Blazers. But in the same respect, the 2012 and 2013 squads both netted four goals in a 4-1 victory. This year's team, despite a 16-4 edge in total shots Wed., Oct. 15, could not put one home as the teams battled to a 0-0 double-overtime deadlock. Up next for Wesleyan is a visit from Little Three rival Amherst, ranked 15th nationally, Sat., Oct. 18 during Homecoming activities. The game will be webcast and might feature LiveStats if the wireless internet at Jackson Field cooperates. Keeper Jess Tollman '15 (#30, photo by Diane Stone P'15) stopped two Elms shots on net, both in the second half, to pick up her first shutout of the season and ninth of her career.
Wesleyan returns over 90 percent of its scoring and rebounding production from a year ago heading into the 2014-15 season, including the top six scorers. BJ Davis ’16, Joe Edmonds ’16 and Rashid Epps ’16 along with Harry Rafferty ’17 were all double-figure scorers last year. As a more experienced squad this season, the Cardinals hope to build upon the momentum gained at the end of last year. Once again the NESCAC men’s basketball conference will be ultra-competitive and the top Division III men’s basketball conference in the country. In the frontcourt, Wesleyan looks for high impact contributions from veterans 6-7 Tim Gallivan ’15 (#55, photo upper left), a tri-captain, and 6-7 Chris Tugman ’15. Tugman missed the final 22 games of the season last year due to a concussion suffered in the opening tournament and should be a force inside this year. At 6-4, Epps had a strong sophomore campaign, posting a double-double in nine games, highlighted by his 15-point, 17-rebound performance in the season-opening game vs. Coast Guard. He ranked among the best in NESCAC with 9.2 RPG (third) and a 54.7 field-goal percentage (eighth).
It took the Cardinals a little while to get on track during their 33rd ever meeting with Bates, but once in gear, Wesleyan outscored its host 24-7, to secure its fourth win this year in four starts with a 24-10 victory. Wesleyan is now 29-4 all-time vs Bates and will face undefeated Little Three rival Amherst Sat., Oct. 18 in its next start. The game will be televised locally by CPTV Sports. As usual, there will be a webcast and LiveStats. Wesleyan did not get on the board until just :14 remained on the first-half clock with Kyle Gibson '15 burrowing in from a yard out to put Wesleyan ahead for good, 7-3. Jesse Warren engineered a 62-yard march on nine plays, using just 1:15 to get the Cardinals a TD. He completed five passes, three to Jay Fabien '15 (#80, right side photo) and two to Josh Hurwitz '15, for 61 yards. The last completion of the drive was for 11 yards, getting the Cardinals to the 1-yard line. Hurwitz finished the game with five catches for 65 yards. Fabien had six for 65 yards. Ben Kurtz '17 also contributed with six receptions, good for 61 yards. On the day, Warren connected in 24 of 38 attempts for 262 yards and one TD. That came from 20 yards out to the left side right after Justin Sanchez '17 recovered a Bates fumble. Fabien caught the pass in the flat and raced around the outside to make it a 24-10 game with 4:39 to play.
The Cardinals celebrated a fine fall men's tennis seasons, including a 20-0 record from five doubles squads during the Fairfield Invitational and a 19-7 collective record in singles and doubles with all 10 members of the squad active once again at the Quinnipiac Invitational. Between those invitationals, Wesleyan got some stellar results from Steven Chen '18 (photos), Michael Liu '17 and the doubles team of Jake Robert '17 and Sam Rudovsky '16 at the regional ITA tournament. Placing second at the ITA regional, Chen went on to represent New England at the ITA National Division III tournament in Sumter, S.C. Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 9-11. Nine regional champions (or near champions, in the case of Chen as the titlist from Amherst could not attend) played in the singles tournament and Chen upset the fourth seeded Glenn Hull from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by a 6-2, 6-4 score to advance to the semifinals. He then fell to Nicholas Chua of Chicago, who had upset the top seed in the quarterfinals. Chen's loss in the semis came by a scant 5-7, 6-3, 3-6 count. Chen went on to play in the match for third place and earned the spot in a walk-over due to injury to the second-seeded Michael Buxbaum of Johns Hopkins.
Receiving a perfectly timed through pass on the right side from Charlie Gruner '17 to get beyond the last Williams defender, and beat the Eph goalie to the long side just inside the left upright, Adam Cowie-Haskell '18 (#18, photo by Peter Stein '84) netted his team-leading third goal of the year just 3:21 into the Little Three battle at Williams Sat., Oct 11. Wesleyan carried that advantage into halftime with hopes of securing its fifth NESCAC win of the season. The Ephs, however, had a different plan and knotted the count in the 55th minute, then struck again seven minutes later with what proved to be the winner marker as Williams prevailed, 2-1. Wesleyan and Williams are now tied for third in the NESCAC standings with identical 4-2 records, trailing front-runner Amherst (6-0-2) and Tufts (4-0-2). Both lead fifth-place Bowdoin (3-3) by a game.