Meeting for just the third time but for the third year in a row, Wesleyan broke the home-field disadvantage jinx in the women's soccer series vs. Salve Regina by capturing a 3-0 home victory Wed., Sept. 19. In the previous two meetings, the visiting team had proven victorious, Wesleyan by a 3-0 count at Salve last year, and Salve, by a 3-1 score in Middletown in 2010.
The Cardinals wasted little time getting on the board, striking for a 1-0 lead just 1:12 into the contest. Beth Alexion '16 brought the ball down the left side and passed ahead to Isabel Clements '16 who took a quick, left-footed shot that got past the Salve keeper. The ball was headed toward the open goal just inside the right post but to be sure it reached its mark, Mikaela Curtin '13 (#21, right side photo) smacked the ball hard into the net from a few feet out to get credit for the goal, her first of the year. Clements and Alexion got the assists.
Wesleyan tacked on its second goal in the 23rd minute on a perfectly executed corner kick by Kerry Doyle '14, who put the ball right on the head of Clare Ashforth '145 (#11, left side photo) for her first goal of the season. The margin improved to 3-0 in the 76th minute as Laura Kurash '13 (#8, background of left side photo) got her second marker of the year with a left-footed shot from 20 yards out after working with Curtin near the top of the box. Salve appeared to have a chance to clear on the last pass between Curtin and Kurash, but the loose ball went to Kurash and she put it home.
Salve was not without its scoring opportunities, outshot just 25-19. Goalie Jessica Tollman '15 made one outstanding save on a shot from 15 yards away in the first half, while another Seahawk attempt that got by Wesleyan's second-half goalie Rachel Hobert '16 was stopped at the goal line by a pair of Cardinal defenders. Tollman finished the game with three saves during her 45 minutes. Hobert had one stop. Wesleyan has now yielded a mere two goals in five games this season with three shutouts.
Wesleyan returned to action Sat., Sept. 22 when it traveled to NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams. Williams went into the game ranked eighth in New England and captured a 3-1 decision. Williams broke the ice midway through the first half, then added a late first-half marker to take a 2-0 lead into intermission. The score stayed unchanged for nearly 40 minutes in the second half, but Williams upped the margin to 3-0 in the 84th minute before the Cardinals avoided a shutout with a nifty goal from Alexion with 4:35 to play. Wesleyan was outshot by a substantial 20-4 margin. Tollman, playing the first half, recorded five saves. Hobert added one in the second half.
Up next for the team is a NESCAC affair at home vs.Middlebury Sat., Sept. 29.