Remaining undefeated all-time vs. Eastern Connecticut in field hockey action, Wesleyan rallied for two second-half goals off penalty corner situations to pull out a 2-1 victory Wed., Sept. 16. Wesleyan is now 8-0 in its series with its in-state rival as the teams played for seven straight years from 2004 through 2010 before taking a five-year hiatus. Over that seven-game span, the Cardinals outscored the Warriors by a 28-4 count. The closest result in the bunch was a 2-1 decision in 2008. Today's contest matched that outcome.
The game-winning marker came off the stick of top scorer Hannah Plappert '16, her third goal of the campaign, as she received the insertion pass from Tess Iannarone '18 t the top of the circle, dribbled once inside the area and shot the ball straight into the goal past the Eastern goalie with 6:00 left in the period. Wesleyan held Eastern off the board over the final stage of the contest though the Warriors pressured the Wesleyan net. Goaltender Sara Grundy '16, who finished with seven saves, had a critical clear of a loose ball in front of the net with about two minutes remaining to help preserve the win.
Wesleyan had evened the count at 1-1 with 16:18 showing on the clock as Abby Warren '19 (#20, photo lower right) scored in much the same manner as Plappert, a long shot just inside the circle off Iannarone's feed from a corner. It was her first career tally. That goal countered Eastern's go-ahead goal 6:05 earlier in the frame as the Warriors also netted a goal from a corner feed with a long shot from the middle.
Eastern had much the better of it statistically in the contest with a 13-4 edge in shots, 8-4 in shots on goal. Corners also went Eastern's way in total, 10-4, including a stretch early in the second half of three corners in less than two minutes.
Wesleyan headed to Bowdoin Sat., Sept. 19 to begin NESCAC play in its next contest. Bowdoin, ranked second nationally, left little doubt about the outcome, grabbing an early 1-0 lead, then tacking on three more goals in a span of 7:24 late in the first half for a 4-0 lead. One more second-half goal by the Polar Bears made it a 5-0 final. Wesleyan was held without a shot or a corner while the high-powered Bowdoin attack took 25 shots, 19 of them on net as Grundy turned aside 13 scoring bids and Alyssa Wood '19 picked up a defensive save.
Wesleyan was on the road Tues., Sept. 22, closing out its non-conference play with a contest at Mount Holyoke. The host scored three goals in the first half, two of them just 18 seconds apart around the 20-minute mark, then held off a charging Cardinal squad for the 3-0 decision. Corner favored Wesleyan, 7-5, while shots were a bit in the Lyons' direction, 11-7, and 8-3 in shots on net. After being outshot, 6-0, in the opening 35 minutes, Wesleyan generated a 7-5 total margin in the second half. Grundy ended the game with five stops.
Wesleyan is home Sat., Sept. 26 against Bates in a NESCAC matchup for its next start.