MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – A pair of first-year collegiate players stepped up for the Wesleyan University men's soccer team on Tuesday evening, as James Schubauer netted his first collegiate goal and goalkeeper Chris Franklin earned his first career shutout during a 2-0 win over Vassar at Smith Field in Middletown, Conn.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Junior midfielder Komar Martinez-Paiz netted the game winner, assisted by sophomore forward Jack Wolf, in the 26th minute for the Cardinals (4-1-0, 0-1-0 in NESCAC), sending a shot with a great deal of velocity from the right edge of the box into the right side of the net.
- The Brewers (3-3-1) came out of the gate strong, holding a distinct possession and territorial advantage in the opening 15 minutes. A shot by Brewers midfielder Andrew Goldsmith barely went over the net in the 19th minute. After the opening push by Vassar, the Cardinals, who held a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal, controlled the play for the remainder of the match.
- Schubauer fired a strong drive on net in the 23rd minute, but Brewers goalkeeper Will Marment turned the shot aside with a quick reaction.
- Most of the high-level contributions by senior captain Nick Jackson and freshman defender Sam Serxner will never show up in the box score, but the two have done all the little things this season that make the difference between winning and losing. Jackson made a superb defensive stand with three minutes left in the first half, breaking up a potential breakaway, as Wesleyan took a one-goal lead into intermission. Serxner's energy and pressure in the defensive zone has been a vital component to the Cardinals' early success, while he has also excelled on the offensive side, taking the majority of Wesleyan's corner kicks and throw-ins.
- Schubauer gave the Cardinals a crucial two-goal advantage in the 54th minute against a dangerous Vassar team, which qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament last season. Schubauer put the speed on down the right side of the attacking zone and made his way into the box, sneaking a shot on the ground by Marment.
- The Brewers tried to get within one in the 70th minute, but freshman Jonathan Bow's attempt connected with the outside of the left attacking post. Franklin (1-0-0), who made his collegiate debut in the second half during a 1-0 setback at Bowdoin on Saturday, posted two saves on Tuesday, stopping a header shot by junior Tyler Gilmore in the 14th minute and a drive by senior Tanner Sands in the 73rd.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals, who improved to 3-0 at home and 4-0 in non-conference action this season, compiled a 16-10 advantage in shots, including a 9-5 edge in the second half. Marment (1-1-0) recorded a game-high seven saves for Vassar.
- Vassar held a 6-5 lead in corner kicks, and each group was whistled for five fouls, with Vassar being guilty of two yellow-card bookings.
- Martinez-Paiz compiled a game-high four shots, with two on target, and Schubauer sent all three of his shots on net. For the visitors, Gilmore led the way with a trio of shots, while Sands and senior Reid Smith attempted two shots, respectively.
- The Cardinals will jump right back into NESCAC Conference action on Saturday with a 2 p.m. matchup against visiting Bates at Jackson Field.