Wesleyan Wins Battle from St. John Fisher

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (Sun., April 11, 2010) -- Meeting for just the second time but for the second year in a row, Wesleyan and St. John Fisher squared off in a battle of capable teams victimized by tough schedules. Six of Wesleyan's eight losses entering the game had been against teams ranked among the top-20 nationally in Division III.

Fisher, which dropped a 14-10 decision to #3 Hamilton and a 13-12 game to #19 Mary Washington as well as a six-goal margin to #13 Union, also lost three other games this year by a lone goal or in overtime. When the team faced each other for the first time a year ago in Hilton Head, S.C., Wesleyan emerged with a 13-10 victory.

Today, the final outcome was virtually the same as Wesleyan scored three of the final four goals to pull away from a 9-9 tie at the 15:24 mark of the second half and come away with a 12-10 triumph. Junior Jess Chukwu put Wesleyan ahead at 11:43 with a long run from midfield and a high shot to the left corner of the goal above Fisher netminder senior Vicki Sahm.

That completed Chukwu's hat trick and upped her team-leading goal total to 26. Freshman Kayla Ellman spotted Wesleyan an 11-9 edge just 13 second later as she got the draw control (Wesleyan had a decided 20-4 edge on draws) and raced 60 yards to score her second goal of the game.

Senior Ashley Fenyn countered for Fisher with her fourth goal of the contest and 23rd of the year at 9:32 to make it a one-goal game at 11-10. Ellman made it a hat trick at 6:22 when she converted a free-position shot into the game's final tally. It was her seventh goal of the year. Wesleyan converted on four of five free-position opportunities in the game.

Though there was no further scoring, Fisher had two free-position chances down the stretch and each time sophomore goalie Maggie Drowica came up big for Wesleyan. She stopped junior Mary Stimson with two minutes remaining and then made another dramatic save at the one-minute mark on a free-position attempt by Fisher top-scorer senior Lauren Glavin, who had two goals and an assist in the contest to up her season totals to 27-14-41. Fisher connected on just three of nine FP attempts.

Fisher led only once in the game, 2-1, on Fenyn's first goal of the contest at 22:55 of the opening half. Wesleyan then scored the next four goals for a 5-2 cushion. It proved to be the largest lead of the game but Wesleyan held three-goal advantages at 7-4, 8-5 and 9-6 as well. A three-goal Fisher burst in a span of 6:21 brought about the first tie at 9-9 since the teams were deadlocked at 2-2 midway through the first half. Fenyn scored twice and Glavin once to trigger the run.

Both goalies figured prominently in their team's fortune as Sahm had a stellar game with 19 saves while Drowica finished up with 11 including the two big ones in the closing moments. Adding a pair of goals and an assist in the Fisher cause was junior Courtney Clare while senior Trish Scudder chipped in with a pair of markers. For Wesleyan, sophomore Eileen Gaffney and freshman Catherine Taibi each had a two-goal performance and junior Allie Lynch dished out three assists, giving her 30 on the year, one shy of the Wesleyan seasonal record set in 2007.

Wesleyan returns to action against its Little Three and NESCAC rival Williams in its next start Saturday, April 17. Fisher travels to SUNY Geneseo for a non-conference game Tues., April 13 for its next outing.

2010-04-11



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