Field Hockey Upset at Wesleyan in NESCAC Action, 1-0

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Senior goalkeeper Delaney Wood made 17 saves and the host Cardinals scored on a penalty stroke as the Wesleyan University field hockey team upset #5 Tufts University, 1-0, in conference action on Tuesday night at Smith Field.

Tufts suffers their second loss of the season (first in NESCAC play) and is now 6-2 overall and 3-1 NESCAC. Wesleyan improves to 5-4 and 1-4 in the league. 

Senior captain Rachel Hamilton had three shots on goal in the contest.

The Jumbos started off strong offensively earning the first three penalty corners of the contest. With a dominating six shots and multiple scoring chances, they looked to gain an early lead. However, behind a quarter of defensive stands and excellent goalie play by Wood Wesleyan was able to keep the score at 0-0.

Tufts continued their pushes into the offensive zone in the second quarter. Senior Marguerite Salamone fired a shot on net that was turned away by Wood early in the period. The first test for the Tufts' defense came as Wesleyan earned their first two penalty corners of the contest shortly into the second quarter. The Jumbo defense denied both chances, including  sophomore Claire Foley blocking a Wesleyan drive on the second corner.

The Jumbos' offense saw two great scoring opportunities off of the stick of senior captain Rachel Hamilton before halftime. On one, the senior was set up with a clear lane to the cage and fired a strike towards the goal on which Wood completed an acrobatic save. 

The Jumbos and Cardinals entered halftime in a 0-0 tie.

Visiting Tufts jumped on the attack early in the second half and continued pressure for most of the third period. Their greatest opportunities came within the first six minutes of the quarter. Tufts earned multiple shots on goal, all turned away or bouncing wide. Play intensifield as green cards were called on Jumbos Salamone and Foley and on Olivia Baglieri for Wesleyan within minutes of each other.

The game would turn when Wesleyan was awarded a penalty shot and Baglieri converted into the bottom left corner of the cage at the 41:33 mark in the contest.

Now trailing, the Jumbos continued their attack which led to a corner and another shot on goal, with just over a minute left in the third. The shot by freshman Reegan McCluskey was turned away by a miraculous diving attempt by Wesleyan's Wood.  

The Jumbos continued to make offensive pushes in the fourth quarter. A green card was issued to Wesleyan's Diana Schwarz in the 58th minute of play, but the Jumbos could not capitalize on the extra-player opportunity. With time winding down, the Jumbos applied offensive pressure that resulted in two penalty corners in the last two minutes of play. In their 18th and final corner of the contest, the Jumbos fired a shot wide of the cage. Wesleyan cleared their defensive end, but only briefly as Tufts remounted an attack within the final minute of the contest. A swarming Wesleyan defense and strong goalkeeping down to the final buzzer closed out the contest.

Tufts finished with advantages of 31-6 in shots and 18-3 in corners. Sophomore Andie Stallman made two saves on three shots on goal in the Tufts cage. 

The Jumbos return to play on Saturday when they host Trinity College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action at Ounjian Field. They are scheduled to start at noon. Wesleyan takes on NESCAC opponent Amherst on Saturday. They start at 11 am.