WELLESLEY, Mass. — The 10th-ranked Wellesley College field hockey team scored three times in the second half en route to a 4-1 victory over visiting Connecticut College on Wednesday afternoon in Wellesley. The victory runs the Blue's unbeaten streak to eight games, giving Wellesley an 8-0 record, the best start for the program since the 1995 season. The loss dips the Camels to 3-4 overall.
Wellesley scored first, capitalizing on the first corner for either team. Just over two minutes into play, Courtney Peterson inserted the ball to Nikki Sharkin who ripped a shot from the top of the circle for a 1-0 Wellesley advantage.
The hosts controlled the action for much of the first half, recording six straight shots and four corners after the initial score. Conn. College was able to fight off Wellesley's offense and finally broke through in the 17th minute of play, knotting the game at 1-1. The Camels' Katlyn Paiva recorded the team's first shot of the game, which was turned away by Wellesley's Lucy Hurlock, before Maggie Rakovic collected the rebound and found the back of the cage for the equalizer.
With the game tied at 1-1, Wellesley went back on the attack, out-shooting Conn. 8-0 the rest of the half. The Blue also drew five more corners in the final 20 minutes of the stanza, but the Camels' defense held strong, including Ryley Van der Velde turning away a pair of shots to send the game into the break at 1-1.
Wellesley out-shot Conn. 15-2 in the first half and held a 10-0 advantage in corners. Van der Velde had three first half saves for the Camels, while Hurlock turned away one.
Wellesley needed just over nine minutes of play in the second half to take the lead. The Blue had three straight penalty corners before finally connecting on the fourth. Nathalie Gruet deflected a hard hit ball from Sharkin, beating the goalie on the left side, giving Wellesley a 2-1 advantage.
The Blue scored two more goals in a span of four minutes, taking a 4-1 lead. In the 54th minute, Anissa Sridhar carried the ball up field, beat a defender and pulled the goalie out of position before finding the back of the cage for a 3-1 Wellesley advantage. Three minutes later, Lallie Lukens scored on a textbook corner, making it 4-1 Blue. Emmy Hamilton started the corner, sending the ball to Lukens who rifled a shot just inside the left post, rattling it around the cage for the goal.
Down three scores, Conn. did make some noise down the stretch, firing off the game's final five shots and three corners. The Camels best chance to score came in the 69th minute where an initial stop from Hurlock was kept in front of the cage, but the ball hit a Conn. players foot, ending the threat.
The Blue finished the game with a 20-8 advantage in shots and a 15-5 lead in penalty corners. Hurlock finished with three saves to earn her eighth win of the season for the Blue. Conn. College's Van der Velde made three saves for the Camels.
Wellesley is back in action on Saturday with a NEWMAC game against Mount Holyoke at 12:00pm. The clash is a rematch of the 2013 NEWMAC Championship and features a pair of nationally-ranked teams. Conn. College returns to NESCAC play and will host Williams on Saturday at 1:00pm.