MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The sixth-ranked Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team cruised to a 15-11 win over in-state NESCAC rival Connecticut College Wednesday night on Citrin Field in the 2018 regular-season finale. The Cardinals pulled away in the third quarter and led by as much as eight with just 6:28 remaining in regulation.
With the win, Wesleyan concludes its regular-season with a 12-2 overall record and 9-1 league ledger, marking the second consecutive season that the Cardinals went 9-1 in NESCAC play. Additionally, the nine conference wins tie the program record from 2017. The Camels, led by five points from Jack Rutter and PJ Kelleher, fall to 10-5 on the year and 5-5 in league play.
- Wesleyan took an early 2-0 lead as Ronan Jacoby '21 scored the first goal of the game in the opening minutes, and just 17 seconds later, Ben Shively '19 found the back of the net to put the home team ahead by two with 11:36 on the clock.
- Conn. College responded, however, and went on a 3-0 run to close out the quarter as Kelleher assisted on all three goals.
- Wesleyan evened the score at the 10:55 mark of the second quarter and took a lead 53 seconds later off a Christian Barker '19 goal. Shortly after, Taylor Ghesquiere '18 increased the home team's lead back to two, 5-3.
- After a 2-0 run by the Camels evened the score at 5-5, Stanton found the back of the net with just 44 seconds remaining in the half. The senior wasn't done, however, as he snuck one past the Conn. College goalie with just one second on the clock to give the Cardinals a 7-5 halftime lead.
- The third quarter was a different story as it was all Wesleyan. The home team rattled off five unanswered goals as Jacoby capped off the run at the 3:08 mark to put the Cardinals ahead by seven, 12-5.
- Wesleyan's defense shut down the Camels for more than 14 minutes until Rutter scored two quick goals in the closing seconds, including one with just :04 on the clock to cut the deficit to five heading into the fourth.
- The Cardinals went on another impressive run to pull away as they scored the first three goals of the fourth, essentially putting the game out of reach.
- Conn. College scored four unanswered goals to close out the game but it was too late as Wesleyan held on for the 15-11 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Jacoby led the Cardinals with four goals, and two assists, while Ghesquiere and Stanton each finished with three goals. Ghesquiere dished out two assists as well and Stanton added one. Carter Hawthorne '19 finished with three assists and one goal and Barker assisted on one goal while scoring one of his own.
- Chad Malinowski '19 secured a game-high nine ground balls while Zach Zavalick '20 added seven with an impressive 18-of-27 performance on faceoffs. Jake Cresta '18 led the defensive efforts with three caused turnovers, Malinowski added two, and goalie Otto Bohan '20 stopped 5-of-12 shots for his 10th win of the season.
- Kelleher led all players with four assists, while also scoring a goal. A.J. Vazquez recorded three assists, Rutter scored three times and registered two assists, and Tommy Wynn, Jordan Foster and Sean Smith each scored twice. Wynn and Foster each recorded an assist as well. TJ Noonan and Anthony Drouin led the defense in caused turnovers with three and two, respectively.
- Wesleyan held a 33-22 edge in ground balls, 43-32 advantage in shots, and won 19-of-30 face-offs.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- The Cardinals concluded their second consecutive regular season without a home loss while extending their home winning streak to 20-straight games dating back to the 2016 season.
- Wesleyan received the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Tournament and will host eighth-seeded Bates on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Wesleyan, Amherst and Tufts all posted identical 9-1 conference records and with similar records against the top eight teams in the league, a random action (names pulled out of a hat) was used to determine that the Cardinals were the No. 1 seed.