MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Wesleyan University, ranked sixth nationally in Division III and first in New England, used a pair of goals and three saves by freshman goalkeeper Adam Purdy to earn a 2-0 win over Bates College Saturday afternoon.
Bates fell to 3-6-2 (0-5-1 NESCAC) with the loss. At 8-0-3 (4-0-2 NESCAC), Wesleyan is off to the second-best start in school history and has clinched a spot in the NESCAC Championship for the 10th straight year.
Wesleyan started the scoring early as senior forward Keisuke Yamashita took a pass from sophomore defender Harrison Lewin at the top of the box and shot it into the right side of the goal in the seventh minute. Yamashita leads the Cardinals with four goals this season.
Bates had a good chance to tie the game just a few minutes later as senior defender Peter Litwin (Concord, Mass.) fired a shot from 18 yards out that sailed just over the crossbar and out of bounds. The two shots Bates put on net in the first half were stopped by Purdy, who recorded his sixth shutout of the season in the Wesleyan net. It was Wesleyan’s seventh shutout altogether.
Junior forward Austin Woolridge had a pair of opportunities in the opening moments of the second half for Wesleyan, heading the ball toward the Bates net. Bates sophomore goalkeeper Greg Watts (West Chester, Pa.) blocked the ball, but the rebound went back to Woolridge along the right side of the box with Watts out of position. Woolridge fired another shot, but Watts managed to get a hand on it for another one of his seven saves.
Purdy came up with a stellar stop of his own in the Wesleyan net after Bates threatened to tie the game in the 67th minute. Freshman midfielder Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) fired a shot from the left side towards the top of the net, but Purdy leaped up and got a fist on the ball to deflect it above the goal and out of bounds. Following a corner kick, Barron attempted another shot, but it too sailed over the Wesleyan net.
Wesleyan extended its lead to 2-0 in the 85th minute. Yamashita sent the ball to freshman forward Noah Schlesinger, who took the pass in the middle of the box and found the back of the net for his first career goal on the game’s final shot.
Bates next travels to Amherst College on Wednesday for another NESCAC match.