MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan field hockey team (1-1, 0-1) fell to No. 1 Middlebury 7-0 in its NESCAC opener on Saturday. Despite the loss, the Cardinals held the defending National Champions (2-0, 1-0) scoreless in the first quarter with strong defensive play, as Delaney Wood stopped all eight shots and Olivia Baglieri made a crucial defensive save.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Middlebury had a great chance to score with 9:29 expired when Marissa Baker one-timed a rebound towards the bottom right corner, but Wesleyan's Baglieri made a defensive save to keep the game scoreless.
- The visitors got on the board at the 20:18 mark after a penalty corner when Meg Fearey redirected a shot by Audrey Lazar for the 1-0 edge.
- At the 28:51 mark, Middlebury took advantage of its third-straight penalty corner, when Chandler hit a hard shot from the top of the arc to make it 2-0 heading into the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Panthers continued offensive pressure in the third quarter, scoring twice to increase the lead to 4-0. The first goal came 37:13 in when Baker tipped-in a shot by Katie George, before Baker scored on a penalty corner from Emma Johns as time expired in the third quarter.
- Wesleyan looked to cut the deficit to 5-1 at the start of the fourth quarter after a penalty corner. Baglieri's shot was blocked before Erica Horowitz collected the rebound, but her shot at the 45:53 mark was denied by Panther goalie Grace Harlan.
- Middlebury increased its advantage to 5-0 when Danielle Brown one-timed a rebound from Baker's initial saved shot.
- The Panthers added back-to-back goals in the 55th minute for the 7-0 final score. Wesleyan's Wood made three-straight saves, but Middlebury's Grace Murphy found the back of the cage on the rebound. Kelly Coyle tallied the final goal at the 55:48 mark when she cut down the middle before finding the bottom left corner.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wood suffered the loss for the Cardinals, making 19 saves in 55:48 of play, while Caitlin Grant was forced to make no saves in the final 4:12.
- Harlan earned the win for Middlebury, making one save in the game.
- Wesleyan is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Wheaton at 7:00 p.m.