MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The No. 22 Wesleyan women's soccer team eased to a 5-0 victory over Bates (1-8-1, 0-6-0) on Saturday morning. The win was highlighted by a pair of goals from first-year Kate Hausladen, while Grace Devanny and Emily Ribatt each scored and recorded an assist. With the victory, the Cardinals improve to 7-2-2 overall with a 3-2-2 conference mark.
Before the start of the game, the Cardinals honored their four seniors – Nicole Brodkowitz, Katie Stewart Frizzell, Mackenzie Mitchell and Elizabeth Vann. Over the course of their careers, this group has helped turn the program around by reaching new milestones each year. Last season, Wesleyan made it back to the NESCAC playoffs for the first time since 2013. This year, the group has again raised the bar, gaining national attention. For the first time in program history, the Cardinals have been nationally ranked in the United Soccer Coaches poll. They have been ranked as high as No. 21 and are currently No. 22. This group of seniors helped Wesleyan win its first Little Three title since the 1980's last weekend, and also played a pivotal role in guiding the team to a program-record eight-game unbeaten streak, erasing the previous mark of six.
"We had a bit of a slower start today," expressed head coach Eva Meredith. "But the team came out hard in the second half and really turned the game around. To score four goals in a half is a testament to the talent and strength our team has."
- The Bobcats looked to take advantage of an early opportunity with just 34 seconds expired. Joanna Cloutier rifled a shot from the top of the 18, but Wesleyan goaltender Sarah Hammond denied the chance.
- The Cardinals threatened during the second minute with back-to-back shots by Audrey Lavey. The first shot caused Bates' goaltender Elizabeth Crawford to come charging off her line to deny the chance, before Cloutier came up big with a defensive save on the ensuing shot to keep the contest scoreless.
- Wesleyan opened the scoring at the 14:24 mark after Brodkowitz served the ball into the box from the top right of the 18. The cross deflected off a Bobcat defender, before Hausladen settled the loose ball, finding the bottom right corner for the 1-0 edge.
- The Cardinals wasted little time out of the intermission, scoring at the 48:48 mark when Lavey used her head to redirect a cross by Devanny for the 2-0 lead.
- Wesleyan continued pressure, scoring a pair of goals in the 62nd minute. The first goal came with 62:09 expired after an initial shot by Melissa Wilhelm hit the crossbar and ricocheted back into play. Hausladen settled the rebound, before burying it in the back of the net. Just 24 seconds later Ribatt found the bottom right corner for her 10th career goal, extending the Cardinal advantage to 4-0.
- Wesleyan scored its fifth and final goal at the 67:42 mark when Devanny one-timed a cross from Ribatt.
- Bates looked to cut the deficit at the 80:42 mark, but Cecelia Pilgrim's shot was denied by Cardinal goaltender Courtney Litts, as Wesleyan held on for the shutout victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Hammond picked up the win in net for the Cardinals, making two stops in 71:42 to record her fifth shutout of the year, while Litts stopped two shots in the final 18:18.
- Crawford made 10 saves in goal for the Bobcats.
- Wesleyan held an advantage in shots (32-4) and corner kicks (10-2) during the triumph.
- The Cardinals are idle until next Saturday when they head to Hamilton for an 11:00 a.m. start.