MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – On the last day of summer, blistering heat and sun scorched Smith Field, home of the Wesleyan field hockey team. The Mules looked to bounce back from a heartbreaking, last second loss to Tufts the day before, while Wesleyan returned from its own setback at Bowdoin.
The Mules came out swinging, earning five penalty corners and taking four shots in the first quarter. However, as would be a theme all game, the Wesleyan defense held strong, blocking shots and staying organized despite the Mules' aggressive attack. The Mules defense took care of the ball as well, allowing only one shot and one penalty corner in the first quarter.
As the teams traded blows, the game became more physical. Eight cards were doled out over the game and both teams found themselves playing a player down for long periods, stretching the teams to their limit. Georgia Cassidy led the Mules with six shots on goal, but stingy play from Cardinal goalie Delaney Wood kept the Mules off the board in regulation. For Colby, Emily Buckman (picutred) turned away every shot she saw, making five saves and anchoring a shutout effort for the Mules' defense that pushed the game into overtime.
Cassidy finally broke through three minutes into extra time. After dribbling through several defenders, she got a shot off that was turned away by Wood. Cassidy collected her own rebound, however, and this time, she found the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
Head Coach Kelly Terwilliger acknowledged her team's resilience after the game, adding, "It was a hard fought battle and big weekend of back-to-back games. Tough match for both teams in the amount of cards issued and teams having to play numbers down for the majority of the game. Wesleyan had strong team defensive play and I'm proud of our attack for fighting through."
The Mules, who entered the week ranked 20th in the country, move to 3-1 in conference play and 4-1 overall with the 1-0 win. The team plays next at Hamilton on September 28th at 11:00 AM (EST).
(Photo Courtesy of Calvin Whetmore '20)