Cardinals End 24-Game Losing Streak vs. Williams by Forging 2-2 Women's Soccer Tie in OT
Unranked Wesleyan ended a 24-game losing streak vs. its NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams College as Kerry Doyle '14 (#5, main photo) scored the first goal of her career in the 83rd minute to tie the game, 2-2, and Wesleyan held off Williams, ranked #1 in New England and #5 nationally, through overtime to secure the deadlock. Williams had beaten Wesleyan in each meeting between the teams since a 4-4 tie back in 1985, spanning 24 contests and holds an all-time 28-4-2 record against Wesleyan.
Doyle received a high bounding pass from Kaitlin Ashley '11 midway into the Williams’ half of the field, collecting the ball behind the last Eph defender and moving to the left to elude the Williams goalie, who was coming out to cut down Doyle's angle. Doyle then had an open net from 20 yards out to fire upon.
Williams had recovered from a 1-0 deficit in the opening minute to take a 2-1 lead. Cardinal Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo insert upper right) scored on a penalty kick just :24 into the game was Doyle was taken down in the box. Kurash's penalty shot beat the Williams keeper to the goalie’s left. Williams evened the count at 1-1 in the 17th minute and then took a 2-1 lead in the 58th minute on a shot above Wesleyan keeper Clare Colton '12 (#0, photo insert lower right). Kurash led Wesleyan in scoring a year ago with six goals and three assists.
Colton ended the game with 10 saves, seven in the second half. Wesleyan had a great opportunity to turn its tie into a victory in the final 20 seconds of overtime as Doyle took a bouncing shot on net that managed to roll away from the Williams netminder as a hustling Kurash was next on the scene. Her rebound attempt was stopped as well and the Cardinals had no time left to attempt a corner kick after the ball went over the endline. Wesleyan has not defeated the Ephs since 1982.
Williams held a 22-8 advantage in shots during the game. One of the stark contrasts in the game was the composition of the starting lineups of the two squads. Wesleyan opened the contest with four freshmen, three sophomores and a pair each of juniors and seniors while Williams started eight seniors and three juniors.
Wesleyan was right back on the pitch Monday, Sept. 13, hosting Salve Regina. The Cardinals suffered a letdown as Salve prevailed, 3-1, in the first-ever meeting between the teams. Doyle put home the Wesleyan goal in the 53rd minute, taking a pass from Kat Ellis-Ferrara '13, to make it 2-1 at the time. But the Seahawks pushed the lead back to a pair of goals in the 58th minute, equaling their halftime lead.
Wesleyan returns to conference play Sat., Sept. 18 with a trip to Colby. The contest will be webcast. Click < here > to see the game on Saturday.
(photos courtesy of Peter Stein '84)