Rory O'Neill '13 Paces Men's Soccer Past Bates, 3-0, with Two Goals Before Team Sets Record with 6th Straight Shutout at WCSU, 1-0
Rory O'Neill '13 (#7, photo by Peter Stein '84) netted a pair of goals and the Wesleyan defense held Bates College without a shot on goal in a 3-0 victory Sat., Oct. 8. Wesleyan, which has risen to ninth nationally in the latest NSCAA poll (10/11), now stands 9-0-2 after upending Western Connecticut, 1-0, Tues., Oct. 11. It is the third time since 2006 the Cardinals are unbeaten after 11 games. Wesleyan also improved to 7-0-1 in NESCAC play with the win over Bates and clinched a first-round home game in the upcoming NESCAC Championship.
O'Neill put Wesleyan on the board just over eight minutes into the game. Steve Paresi '12 sent the ball to O'Neill, who was waiting a few yards out in front, and O'Neill's header found the back of the net at 8:19 for his fifth goal.
Wesleyan extended its advantage to 2-0 in the 28th minute as O'Neill found Walter Rodriguez '13 in the middle of the box. Rodriguez's goal at 27:46 was his fourth of the season, as he ranks second on the team in that category behind O'Neill. O'Neill and Rodriguez reversed roles with 2:32 remaining in the game, as Rodriguez hit O'Neill for his second goal of the game for the 3-0 margin.
Bates appeared to score first, putting home a shot in front just 3:03 into the contest, but the field official, after initially signaling a goal, reversed his call and waved it off. Wesleyan had a goal of its own waved off 26 seconds later on an offside call. That marked the second near miss for Wesleyan, as Rodriguez had hit the crossbar with a header just 49 seconds into the game.
Wesleyan keeper Adam Purdy '13 posted his 21st career shutout with the win, as he is the Wesleyan career record holder in that category. He has played every minute in net for Wesleyan this season and extended his shutout streak to 498:10 with his eighth whitewashing of the year.
Wesleyan has won three straight games against Bates for the first time in the 14-game series, all by shutout. The Cardinals defeated Bates on the road 1-0 last season for their first-ever win in Lewiston, Me., and hold a slim 6-4-4 lead in the series.
Wesleyan hit the pitch again with a night game at Western Connecticut. The Cardinals ran their unbeaten string vs. the Colonials to eight games (7-0-1) with their 1-0 victory as Greg Shaheen '15 scored the game-winner with 1:03 left in the first half, assisted by Cabell Maddux '13. In posting his sixth straight shutout, ninth of the year and 22nd of his career, Adam Purdy '13 made four saves, all in the second half, as Wesleyan outshot its host, 16-7. The six straight shutout by the Cardinals broke the program record of five set in 2007 and equalled in 2009. Purdy's consecutive scoreless minute streak has now reached 588:10. In the latest national stats released 10/11, Wesleyan leads the nation in goal-against average (now 0.27) while Purdy is third in goals-against average (0.27) and second in save percentage (.936).
The Cardinals are off for the weekend and resume action Wed., Oct. 19 with a trip to Western New England. The game will have LiveStats which can be viewed by clicking < here >.