SPRINGFIELD, MASS., September 17, 2008 The visiting Wesleyan Cardinals tallied three goals in a 3:30 span in the opening minutes of the first half to take control en route to a 3-1 win over the Springfield College mens soccer team on Wednesday evening in non-conference action.
With the loss, the Pride drop to 2-2-1 on the season, while Wesleyan improves to 2-1.
For Wesleyan, Keisuke Yamashita recorded the hat trick for his squad in just over three minutes of play as the Cardinals took control from the onset. At the 9:48 mark, Yamashita buried a shot into the lower right hand corner from the 18-yard box to give his squad a 1-0 lead.
Yamashita then found a loose ball in the box 1:25 later and slipped past Springfield goalie Kevin Leahy (Cheshire, Conn.) for his second goal of the evening. Just over two minutes later, Yamashita finished off his hat trick and completely stunned the Pride and its crowd as he collected a pass from Ozzie Parente and found the back of the net for his third tally.
From that point on, both sides played a very even first half with each squad have several excellent scoring chances.
The Pride finally got on the board at the 63 minute mark when John Plourds (Southampton, Mass.) hustle created Springfields goal. After Brett Drake (Enfield, Conn.) had his shot turned away by Wesleyan keeper Nick Boskovich, Plourd slipped behind the Cardinal defense and banged home the rebound to cut the visitors lead to two.
That would be as close as Springfield would get in the match though, as it was outshot for the game, 11-7, yet held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Leahy finished with three saves in the goal for Springfield, while Boskovich made four stops for Wesleyan.
Springfield returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels to Wheaton for the Prides conference opener.