BRUNSWICK, Maine – The game of soccer comes down to taking advantage of moments.
On Saturday afternoon, the Wesleyan University women's soccer team rose to the occasion twice with junior defender Kayla O'Brien scoring the equalizer and junior captain Kinsey Yost making a game-saving stop in the 88th minute during a 1-1 draw against Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- O'Brien netted her first goal as a Cardinal in the 56th minute unassisted, as the tally evened the score at 1-1 and ensured that Wesleyan (2-1-1, 0-1-1 in NESCAC) received an all-important point in the NESCAC Conference. Early-season and road points are of particular importance within conference play, especially since the Cardinals have their sights set on a return to the conference tournament for the first time since 2013.
- It appeared that the Polar Bears (1-1-1, 0-1-1 in NESCAC) were going to steal the victory in the final moments of regulation, but Cardinals senior captain and goalkeeper Meg Hanan (1-0-1) made an aggressive play out of her net to break up a rush, and then Yost headed out a drive by junior Julia Patterson with under three minutes left.
- Junior Emily Pawlak opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with an unassisted tally for Bowdoin.
- Wesleyan dominated the final 65 minutes of the game, holding a 12-2 edge in shots and a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks. Junior forward Liz Young, who leads the team with five points and two-game winning goals, nearly put the visitors on top in the 61st minute, but her header shot off freshman midfielder Emily Ribatt's corner was denied by Bears senior goalkeeper Rachel Stout (1-0-1).
- Sophomore defender Julia Meehan followed up with a drive on goal in the 84th minute, but once again, Stout was up to the task.
- The Cardinals carried their positive momentum into the 10-minute extra sessions, with junior captain and midfielder Lauren Goetzman peppering Stout with shots on goal in the 97th and 107th minutes. Wesleyan dominated the territorial advantage in the second overtime period, earning three corners, while Young sent a drive on net in the 108th minute, which was denied by the Bears goalkeeper.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals held a firm 11-3 advantage in shots on goal and a 16-5 lead in total shots, while Goetzman posted a game-high six shots and a game-best three shots on net. Young sent all three of her shots on target as well, and freshman Carly Bechtloff and Ribatt each fired two shots.
- The visitors held a convincing 12-2 edge in corners, while Wesleyan was called for 10 fouls and Bowdoin was charged with six.
- Hanan recorded a pair of saves, occurring in the 15th and 17th minutes, as the Cardinals earned a point in their first road NESCAC game for the second straight season.
- Wesleyan will make the journey to South Hadley, Mass., on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. tilt against Mount Holyoke. The unit will then return to Jackson Field in Middletown, Conn, for an 11 a.m. matchup against NESCAC-rival Bates on Saturday.