September 29, 2009

Wheaton plays Wesleyan to fifth straight one-goal decision, falls 2-1

NORTON, MA- For the fifth straight season, the Wheaton College and Wesleyan University field hockey teams played to a one-goal decision, but the Lyons had their three-game winning streak over the Cardinals snapped with a 2-1 loss on Tuesday at Clark Field. Wheaton slipped to 5-4 on the season, while Wesleyan improved to 2-3.

Junior Julia Atwood (Concord, MA/Brooks School) scored her fifth goal of the season for the Blue and White, while senior keeper Andrea Bagley (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro) made 10 saves, including a handful of critical stops that kept her team in the game.

Sophomore Morgan McCauley (Rye, NY/Rye) netted both of Wesleyan's markers, while freshman Tori Redding (Guilford, CT/Branford) had four saves. The Cardinals held advantages of 21-8 in shots and 9-4 in penalty corners.

McCauley put the visitors in front after just 6:35 of action, and Wheaton fired off its only pair of shots in the opening half during a single sequence late in the frame. With less than 5:30 remaining, Atwood took the second of the two tries, being stopped on the short side by Redding.

A little more than 5:30 into the second stanza, Bagley slid out to deny McCauley's breakaway opportunity. However, McCauley made it 2-0 soon thereafter, deking the keeper and going backhand into an open net at 41:20.

The Lyons broke on the board at 56:11 off a penalty-corner sequence. Junior Margaux Bolte (Belmont, MA/Belmont) pushed a shot toward the cage, and sophomore Emily Asack (Stoughton, MA/Stoughton) tipped the ball to Atwood, who cut Wheaton's deficit in half.

Less than 1:30 later, Atwood sent a cross into the middle of the circle, where it was knocked home, but the potential tying marker was disallowed. In the 61st minute, Bagley again slid out to turn away McCauley on a breakaway, and Wheaton had its final opportunity late in regulation. With about 20 seconds left, junior Jessica Strock (Centerville, MA/Barnstable) gained possession near midfield and carried all the way into the circle and toward the cage, but a foul gave the ball back to Wesleyan with less than five ticks remaining.

Wheaton hosts its second straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponent on Sunday, as the Lyons will take on two-time defending NCAA Tournament champion Bowdoin College at 1:00 p.m. The Polar Bears are currently 13th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll.

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