MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – For the first time since the 2006 campaign, the Wesleyan University men's soccer team has won its opening three games, as the Cardinals scored directly off a throw-in and corner kick during a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Manhattanville at Citrin Field on Wednesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Senior midfielder Garrett Hardesty netted the game-winning tally for Wesleyan (3-0-0) in the 72nd minute, as he posted a header goal deep in the box from the left side. Sophomore forward Alec Haas started the play by serving a corner into the box, and then freshman midfielder Lucas Kimball tallied his first collegiate point by gaining position on the right side and heading the ball directly over to Hardesty.
- The Cardinals opened the scoring in the third minute with a highlight-reel goal, as sophomore standout Trevor Devanny established deep position in the box and posted a header goal directly off a throw-in from 20 yards out by freshman defender Sam Serxner.
- The Valiants (2-3-0) evened the score in the 24th minute when junior Jack Balasiano was able to get a foot on the ball in traffic, netting an unassisted goal from the edge of the box.
- Devanny showcased his immense skill with the ball on his foot, as he could have easily recorded a hat trick in this contest. The Concord, N.H. native fired a rocket off the bar from straight on during the 53rd minute, and then he curved a shot off the right post from 20 yards out in the 58th minute.
- Freshman forward James Schubauer had a strong scoring chance in the 72nd minute prior to the game-winning tally, as he sent a shot behind Valiants freshman goalkeeper Danny Ayala, but junior defender Michael Jean-Charles sprinted to the edge of the goal and stopped the ball from crossing the line.
- Closing out games strongly is often a sign of a mature group and the hosts did that well, nearly extending its lead to a pair of goals on two occasions in the final 6:09. Sophomore midfielder Komar Martinez-Paiz sent a bullet soaring over the bar in the 84th minute, and then senior forward Adam Cowie-Haskell sent a shot rolling past the right post in the 86th minute.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals held a firm 27-8 edge in shots, including an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal. The hosts took five corner kicks, while the visitors were awarded four, with both teams committing eight fouls.
- Senior goalkeeper Brian Harnett (3-0-0) stayed perfect this season for the Cardinals, registering three saves, and Ayala (1-1-0) was tagged with the loss for the visitors, totaling a game-high six saves.
- Haas and Devanny led the way in the shots category with four apiece, while Balasiano posted a team-high three for Manhattanville, with two on target. Senior midfielder Charlie Livingstone and Schubauer each put two shots on net for Wesleyan.
- The Cardinals will begin their NESCAC Conference schedule on Saturday with a noon start at Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine. Wesleyan will return home for a 4:30 p.m. tilt against Vassar on Tuesday at Jackson Field.