Wesleyan Starts Fast, Cruises by No. 20 Williams

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (March 10) - Behind the career-best six-goal effort of junior Kaylin Berger, Wesleyan moved out to a 7-1 lead at halftime over its visiting NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams here today, pulled ahead by as many as eight (9-1), and settled for a 13-8 victory in the season opener for both teams.

Wesleyan is right back on the field Sun., March 11, taking on seventh-ranked nationally Hamilton while Williams returns to action Tues., March 13, playing at M.I.T.

With the score tied, 1-1, after 10:39 of play, Wesleyan rattled off the next eight goals, six of them during the first half and two more through 15:19 of play in the second period, to hold a 9-1 lead, the game's largest differential. Williams then netted three straight in a span of 3:23 to cut the gap to 9-4 before Wesleyan pumped in three to regain an eight-goal margin at 12-4 with 5:16 to play. The Ephs scored four of the final five goals in the last four minutes to account for the final 13-8 score.

Berger netted three goals in each half, three of them on free-position bouncers, to post her best-ever game performance. She had three four-goal games a year ago as her previous high game. Junior Kayla Ellman added three goals and an assist for the Cardinals for a four-point outing. In her first career contest, freshman Leah Sherman put home a pair and dished out an assist for three points.

Williams, which entered the game tied for 20th nationally in Division III, got a pair of goals each from senior Margie Fulton and freshman Lilly Wellelbach. Sophomore Emily Jablonski had two assists for the Ephs.

In goal for Wesleyan, senior Maggie Drowica made 11 saves as she turned aside 11 of the first 13 shots on net taken by the Ephs before Williams scored on six consecutive shots-on-goal in the final 13 minutes. Sophomore Ali Piltch had eight saves for the Ephs, four in each half.

Wesleyan took the lead for good at 19:08 of the first half, responding to Williams' only goal of the period by Wellenbach with a tally by senior Liz Chabot on a midfield-to-goal run with the draw control. Wesleyan netted four goals in a span of 7:26 for a 5-1 margin. In the second half, Williams scored its final three over the last 2:52 of the contest.

Williams leads in the overall series by a wide margin, 30-8. Wesleyan won six of the first eight games in the series before Williams ran off 25 straight wins between 1984 and 2007. The Cardinals ended that run in 2008 with a 9-8 home victory, but Williams won the next three, including a 19-16 victory in Williamstown, Mass. last year in the highest-scoring game of the series.


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