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Wesleyan Battles Middlebury to 0-0 Draw in Opener

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan men's soccer team (0-0-1, 0-0-1) battled Middlebury to a 0-0 draw in its season opener on Saturday afternoon. During the contest, the Panthers (1-0-1, 0-0-1) held a 14-13 slight edge in shots, while the Cardinals had an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.

"With a young Wesleyan squad, I was very proud of how we played against this team," stated head coach Geoff Wheeler. "Middlebury is a strong team and we saw fantastic saves from our first-year goalkeeper, to go along with some very dangerous offensive opportunities. This game has set the tone for the year and has prepared us for a challenging pair of contests this coming week."

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Panthers had a great opportunity to get on the board at the 21:28 mark with a free kick just outside of the 18, but Ben Potter's shot hit the crossbar and ricocheted away.
  • Just two minutes later Middlebury had a good chance to score when Ben Powers sent a through ball to Potter, but Wesleyan goalkeeper Liam Devanny came diving out to deny a shot by the Panthers.
  • Wesleyan had a great chance to open the scoring after a corner with 51:52 expired, but Jake Lundberg's shot from the six was blocked by a Middlebury defender.
  • The Cardinals looked to take advantage of a Panther goalkeeper change during the 68th minute, but Tucker Kelsch's header attempt sailed just high.
  • Middlebury's best chance to break the game open came at the 74:05 mark. After a flurry of shots, a header from Noah Hannam from the left side sent Wesleyan's Devanny diving across to his left, just getting his hands on it to thwart the opportunity.
  • The first overtime was very physical as the teams traded yellow cards early on, with neither team able to muster up a quality offensive opportunity.
  • The Cardinals had a great chance to end the game at the 107:07 mark. Sam Serxner used his head to redirect a cross to Mike Gallo, but Gallo's one-timer in the box went just wide.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Devanny stopped all six shots faced in his rookie debut in goal for Wesleyan.
  • Ryan Grady made three saves during 68:50, while Marco Kaper was not forced to make a save in the final 41:10.