Wesleyan Bests Trinity In Men's Soccer Regular Season Finale
Rematch Set For NESCAC Quarters In Middletown Saturday
Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain forward Rory O'Neill (Silver Spring, Md.) assisted on one goal and scored the clincher in the 72nd minute to lead the visiting Wesleyan University Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's soccer action this afternoon. Trinity closes its regular season with a 5-5-4 overall record having closed with two straight losses and a five-game winless streak (0-4-1). Wesleyan, ranked No. 7 in New England, completes its regular-season campaign with an 8-3-3 mark and ends its three game winless streak. The Bantams finish with a NESCAC mark of 3-5-2, which qualifies them for the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the eighth time and the second year in a row, and will head to Middletown for a re-match with the Cardinals as the tourney's No. 6 seed. Wesleyan earned the No. 3 seed due to its 6-2-2 final NESCAC mark.
Trailing, 1-0, at the break, Trinity junior forward Christian Carrasquillo (Manchester, Conn.) tied the score at one apiece when he beat Wesleyan senior tri-captain goalie Adam Purdy (Montclair, N.J.) to the ball on the right wing near the goal and slipped it by him into the net. Bantam sophomore backstop Jason Katz (Middleton, Mass.) made a diving stop against Wesleyan senior forward Walter Rodriguez (North Plainfield, N.J.) on a breakaway with less than 20 minutes left in regular time, but Rodriguez fed O'Neill for the game-winner with 17:01 on the clock after the Cardinals quickly took the ball back from the Bantam defense.
In the first half, both teams had early chances to score, as Carrasquillo nearly connected with a cross from right to left in front of the goal to a wide-open sophomore Alex Perkins (Kingston, Jamaica) 12 minutes into the contest, and Cardinal freshman midfielder Hans Erickson (Amherst, Mass.) blasted a shot from just outside the box in the 19th minute that was saved by Katz. Wesleyan got on the board 32:41 into the game when O'Neill took a close shot that was stopped by Katz but trickled away from him to Cardinal senior tri-captain back Cabell Maddux (Danville, Va.) who poked in the rebound. Wesleyan senior forward Evan Hazlett (Amherst, Mass.) shot just wide and high from 15 yards away and as denied by Katz on a one-on-one late in the first period. Wesleyan held a 16-7 advantage on shots, as Katz made seven saves in a losing effort. Purdy had three saves for Wesleyan, which avenges a 2-0 loss to the Bantams last year that spoiled an undefeated regular season for the Cardinals.