Cards Take Must-Win Game at Conn as Liz Chabot '12 Scores Twice, Fall to Tufts in NESCAC Tourney
Wesleyan never trailed in its regular-season finale at Conn. College Fri., Oct. 30, but in a game the Cardinals had to win in order to qualify for the NESCAC Tournament, Liz Chabot '12 (#4, photo) broke a 2-2 tie early in the second half and the teams went scoreless over the final 25 minutes as the Cardinals secured a much-needed 3-2 victory.
With the win, Wesleyan earned a rematch with the second-seeded Tufts Jumbos Sun., Nov. 1 in a first-round NESCAC playoff game. Wesleyan, seeded seventh, dropped a 2-0 decision to Tufts, ranked fifth nationally, its second two-goal defeat at the hands of Tufts this year.
At Conn, Chabot, who upped her season goal total to six, opened the scoring in the game's 13th minute only to have the Camels knot the score in the 26th minute on a penalty stroke. But Jamie Thabault '11, who went on to set Chabot up for the game-winner in the second half, gave Wesleyan back the lead with five minutes left in the first half and that's the way the period ended.
Conn drew first blood in the second period, scoring just seven minutes in to make it 2-2. But Thabault found Chabot in front for the go-ahead score three minutes later and it stood up as five goals in the first 45 minutes was all the teams could muster. Had Wesleyan come up short in the game, Colby would have gotten the nod as the final team in the NESCAC field by virtue if its overtime win at Wesleyan. Instead, the Cardinals got the seventh spot ahead of Conn based on the head-to-head win as both teams posted 3-6 NESCAC marks. With their eighth win of the year overall, the Cardinals secured their first winning campaign since 2005 when the team went 11-5.
In the NESCAC playoff game, keeper Tori Redding '13 logged a career-high 20 saves to help Wesleyan stay close despite a 35-3 shot advantage for the home team. Wesleyan did not get a shot on net in the contest. Still, it was a one-goal game until the 53rd minute when Tufts got its insurance marker.
Wesleyan wrapped up its winning season with an 8-7 final record led by the nine goals of Morgan McCauley '12. Redding finished with a 1.87 goals-against average and an .819 save percentage while playing every minute in the Cardinal net.