Sarah Sylla '17 (#19, right side photo) scored her second goal of the season, and goalie Jessica Tollman '15 (#30, left side photo) made seven saves to help Wesleyan salvage a 1-1 double-overtime tie with visiting Middlebury, ranked 14th nationally, Sat., Oct. 26. Combined with her shutout win at Trinity Oct. 22, Tollman was honored by the NESCAC as its Player of the Week.
Middlebury’s best chance to score in the first half came with 15:42 left when it was awarded a penalty kick. The waist-high shot to the right side of the net was pushed aside by a leaping Tollman.
The Cardinals, 2-6-5 overall and 1-4-4 in the NESCAC, used the momentum from that save to score less than five minutes later. Sylla took a hard crossing pass from Victoria Matthews '16 and banged it low to the right of Middlebury's goalie with 10:55 on the first-half clock.
Wesleyan controlled the play for much of the half, but only managed to outshoot the Panthers, 5-4. The Cardinals also had two corners in the period but weren’t able to convert.
Middlebury, 10-1-3 overall and 8-1-1 in conference play, came out on fire in the second half and scored less than six minutes in. Tollman then came up big a couple of more times for the Cardinals in the half to keep the score tied. Wesleyan didn’t get a quality chance until the last three minutes when Sylla took a pass from Carly Swenson '17. She had the goalie beat but the shot sailed just high.
Middlebury had the only two shots in the overtime period, but neither team was able to mount a sustained attack.
On Oct. 19, Wesleyan came away from Amherst, ranked 23rd in the country at the time, with a scoreless draw. Combined with their 2-0 victory at Trinity Oct. 22, the surging Cardinals are 1-0-2 in its last three outings against three NESCAC foes with a combined overall record of 29-5-6 through games of Oct. 26.
Middlebury concluded its campaign and despite the tie will be the top seed in the NESCAC tournament for the second year in a row. The playoffs start Sat., Nov. 2. Wesleyan sits in seventh place in the NESCAC standings and closes out the regular season at Conn. College Wed., Oct. 30.
(photos by Peter Stein '84)