MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University field hockey team hosted its 2017 home opener Saturday afternoon at Smith Field against a difficult non-conference foe, No. 5 Babson College. The Cardinals held Babson to one goal in the first half, but the Beavers responded with four in the second to claim a 5-1 victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Babson (4-0) controlled the tempo for much of the first half, as it outshot Wesleyan, 17-2. However, Wesleyan (1-1) goalkeeper Delaney Wood '20 was terrific in net and stopped seven shots to keep the home team in the game.
- Babson's first goal occurred roughly eight and a half minutes in, as Lauren Drakeley connected with Catherine Gilman to put the visitor's ahead, 1-0.
- In the closing minutes of the first half, Wood served a two-minute green card but Wesleyan's defense remained resilient and held off the Beavers' attack to keep it a one-goal margin at the half.
- Babson, however, took advantage of the remaining seconds on Wood's penalty early in the second half as Gilman tacked on the game-winner at the 35:19 mark.
- The Beavers extended their lead to three roughly 15 minutes later as Ashley Tango found the back of the net off an assist from Elise Towers, but Wesleyan responded shortly after to keep it a two-score game. Freshman Nikki Gerjarusak received a pass from Ali Friend '19 and sent a shot to the bottom right corner of the net, and past the visiting goalkeeper with just over 16 minutes remaining. It was her second collegiate goal in as many games.
- Babson retaliated with two more goals to put the game out of reach as Tango sent a pass from the right side of the field to a wide-open Kate Driscoll, standing directly in front of the left post, as she sent one into the back of the net at the 59:44 mark.
- With less than three minutes remaining, Tango rifled a shot from the top of the shooting circle, through the defense and into the goal to seal the 5-1 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Babson held a commanding 28-5 advantage in shots, but Wood protected the net for most of the game as she made nine saves. Deirdre Berry picked up the win for the Beavers and recorded one save.
- The visitors also recorded 13 penalty corners to Wesleyan's three.
- Gerjarusak and Maddie Shea '20 were responsible for the Cardinals' two shots on goal, while Maddy Paro of Babson led all players with four shots on net.
- Wesleyan returns to Smith Field Wednesday, Sept. 13 and will host Eastern Conn. State at 5:30 p.m. NESCAC action then begins next Saturday, Sept. 16 as the Cardinals head to Bowdoin for an 11 a.m. start.