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Men's Soccer Advances to NESCAC Final With PK Victory over Middlebury

Photo by Peter Stein '84
Photo by Peter Stein '84

Wesleyan Men's Soccer advances to the NESCAC Final with a 5-4 penalty kick victory over #2 seeded Middlebury College in the NESCAC Semi-Finals on Sat. November 7th in Middlebury VT. The game officially goes in as a 0-0 tie, with Wesleyan winning in penalty kicks. With the result Wesleyan improves to 8-7-2 overall and 3-6-1 in NESCAC play, while the Panthers fall to 13-2-2 and 7-2-1 in conference play. The Cardinals avenge last year's PK victory by Middlebury in the NESCAC tournament. 

The teams were scoreless through regulation with Middlebury holding a 13-8 advantage on shots. Wesleyan generated eight corner kicks in regulation and held Middlebury to none. Cardinal's goalkeeper Jack Katkavich stopped six first half shots, and one in the second, while the Panther's keeper turned away two in the first half and one in the second. 

In the overtime periods both defenses held their ground, with Middlebury's goalie having two saves and Katkavich stopping one.  

In penalty kicks Wesleyan scored on all five attempts, including a re-kick by senior Hans Erickson to keep the Cardinals ahead. Brandon Sousa, Charlie Gruner, Erickson, Chris Kafina, and Dylan Hoy all netted penalty kick attempts. Defender Nick Jackson stepped into the net for penalty kicks and  Middlebury missed their first attempt but connected on the next four. Wesleyan's perfect five for five were enough to send the Cardinals to the NESCAC finals with a berth in the NCAA tournament on the line. 

#8 seeded Wesleyan will take on the #6 seed Bowdoin College in the NESCAC Final from Middlebury Vermont at 12pm on Sunday November 7th. Bowdoin dispatched Conn. College 2-0 in their Semi-Final matchup.