Wooster Sews Up Final Spot in NCAC Tournament
WOOSTER, Ohio – With the fourth and final spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on the line, The College of Wooster used a four-goal scoring run early in the second half to give itself enough cushion to get past Oberlin College 12-9 on Saturday afternoon on Andrew Turf Field at John P. Papp Stadium.
The Scots (12-4, 5-3 NCAC) will visit top-seeded Wittenberg University (11-3, 7-0 NCAC) in the NCAC Tournament semifinals on Thursday. Wittenberg won its regular season meeting with the Scots, 19-13.
Statistically, this game was as close as it can get, with both teams recording nearly identical marks in shots, groundballs, and draw controls. However, it was an 8:07 stretch near the start of the second half where Wooster was able to create the separation it needed to advance to an eighth-consecutive conference tournament under head coach Elizabeth Ford.
Wooster led 7-6 entering the second half, but Oberlin needed just 1:36 to knot the game at seven apiece. It was moments later when the Scots began their spurt, as Ellie Hudson-Heck made a long run down the field and delivered a high-arching pass over the defense to Shelby Stone, and the latter responded with a quick shot that beat the 'keeper and made it 8-7.
Next, Hudson-Heck made it a two-goal game by converting a free-position shot, and then just 16 ticks later, Alison Schlothauer won a draw control and quickly dished to Cassie Greenbaum, who advanced the ball up field and located Abby Szlachta for a sudden score that put Wooster ahead by three (10-7).
Finally, with about 19 minutes remaining in the game, Hudson-Heck scored her fourth goal of the game on an assist from Eliza Perry, and Wooster built a lead it would not relinquish.
Oberlin was the aggressor in the early goings, as it jumped out to a 4-1 lead less than seven minutes into the first half. Wooster answered back, though, with its first four-goal run of the afternoon, which started with a tally from Perry, and then saw Perry assist on the next three goals as part of her six-assist day.
The Yeowomen broke up the run with two goals to take a 6-5 lead late in the half, but Clare Nelson-Johnson scored twice before the break, including one just five seconds before the whistle, to give the Scots their 7-6 halftime advantage.
Perry paced Wooster with seven points (1 goal, 6 assists), while Hudson-Heck chipped in five points on four goals and a helper.
Oberlin's Ilyssa Meyer and Grace Barlow each recorded hat tricks in defeat, and 'keeper Madeleine O'Meara logged eight saves.