Connecticut College 2, Wesleyan University 1 Camels Notch 13th Win of Season in Middletown

Connecticut College 2, Wesleyan University 1 Camels Notch 13th Win of Season in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (Oct. 28) -- Second-half goals by senior Grace Bilodeau and freshman Livi Block lifted the Connecticut College Camels to a 2-1 victory over the Wesleyan University women's soccer team in the final game of the 2014 regular season at Jackson Field here today. Connecticut COllege College finishes the regular season with a banner 13-2 overall record and an 8-2 record in the NESCAC, while the Cardinals finish 1-12-2 and 0-9-1 in conference play.  

The Camels move on to the NESCAC tournament Sat., Nov. 1, hosting a first-round game for the first time in the 15-year history of the tournament.  Qualifying for just the seventh time, Connecticut College had never been higher than the fifth seed in the eight-team field.  Connecticut College will learn who its opponent will be once final regular-season action concludes on Wednesday.  Wesleyan failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007, having made the last six tournaments.

The first half was controlled by the Camels as they had multiple chances to take an early lead, but the Wesleyan defense withheld the early strikes to keep the score tied 0-0 at halftime. At the half, Connecticut College had a 12-1 advantage on shots, and two corners to the Cardinals' one.

The second half featured much more even play with both teams hitting a post, and creating multiple opportunities to take or add to a lead.  But it was Conn that struck first when Bilodeau streaked down the sideline in front of her own bench at 70:25. Bilodeau stopped outside the 18-yard line and put the ball on her left foot before she sailed a shot off the left post and into the back of the net.

Wesleyan responded just under two minutes later when junior Marisa Yang fed sophomore Sarah Sylla from the center to just outside of the box to the left for Sylla to nail a left-footed shot over the keeper high on the right side to tie the game at 1-1.

With the game in the balance, the Camels executed a set play off of a corner kick where freshman Alexa Tribelli played a short corner to senior Astrid Kempainen who hit freshman Livi Block at the top right corner of the box. Block curled in a long shot near the left post at 78:28 to give the Camels a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Bilodeau and Block both scored their third of the season, while sophomore goalie Bryanna Montalvo stopped three shots and improved to 13-2 as she's played every minute in net for the Camels this season.

Sylla also posted her third goal of the season in the loss.  Junior Rachel Hobert and freshman Meghan Hanan combined for nine saves. Senior Jessica Tollman played the final 7:08 in her last game as a Cardinal but was not tested.  Connecticut College enjoyed a 26-8 edge in total shots, 11-6 on the net.

Connecticut College leads the overall series vs. Wesleyan, 17-13-1, though Wesleyan is 4-2-1 in the last seven outings and had won four of the last five meetings in Middletown before today.  The teams played to a 2-2 tie in New London a year ago when Connecticut College ended the year with a 3-8-3 overall record, 1-6-3 in the conference.  The turn-around with the influx of nine first-year players who have accounted for 20 of the team's 36 goals this season has been remarkable.  Connecticut College is currently ranked fifth in today's NSCAA New England Division III poll.