October 5, 2011

Bears Shutout at #11 Wesleyan

MIDDLETOWN, CONN.--(10/5/11)--Wesleyan (7-0-2), ranked 11th nationally, extended its unbeaten streak in 2011 to nine games with a pair of second-half goals, both on headers, and the shutout goaltending of junior Adam Purdy as the Cardinals defeated visiting Coast Guard (4-4-1) in a non-conference game.

It was Wesleyan third straight win over its in-state rival and sixth in the last seven meetings. Wesleyan holds a 40-18-5 lead in the long-standing series.

After a scoreless first period which featured just one shot on goal by Wesleyan and none by Coast Guard, play opened up in the second half. Wesleyan broke the tie in the 58th minute when junior Rory O'Neill netted his team-leading fourth goal of the year as he headed a corner kick by junior Noah Schlesinger into the right side of the net past Coast Guard freshman keeper Richie Burns, who ended the game with nine saves.

Less than a minute earlier, Burns made an outstanding diving stop of a shot by junior Evan Hazelett that was labelled for the lower right corner, bringing about the goal-scoring corner kick.

Junior Walter Rodriguez added the insurance goal for the Cardinals in the 80th minute as he headed in a shot from close range on the left after getting a feed from down low on the left by Hazelett.

Sophomore Cabell Maddux began the play with a long pass to Hazelett midway in the offensive zone on the left. Hazelett then took it deep and turned the corner to find Rodriguez for his third marker of the season.

Coast Guard had several good scoring chances in the contest as two of Purdy's three saves were true goal-savers. Both came in the second half off direct kicks. The first came from junior Greg Kennerley, which deflected off the Wesleyan wall, forcing Purdy to dive to his right to make the stop. Later, senior Brett Godiksen fired a hard shot from a similar position about 25 yards out with Purdy again making a diving save. Sophomore John Rendon rang a shot off the right side of the cross bar from 30 yards away in the 30th minute, the closest either side came to a tally in the first half.

Purdy posted his fourth consecutive shutout and seventh of the year, improving his Wesleyan career-record figure to 20. He has now gone 408 minutes of play without allowing a goal over a five-game span.

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