Wooster Sews Up Final Spot in NCAC Tournament

Ellie Hudson-Heck

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.

Defensively, Molly Sennett was credited with six caused turnovers, and goalkeeper Shawna Ferris made seven saves while notching her 40th career win.

Oberlin's Ilyssa Meyer and Grace Barlow each recorded hat tricks in defeat, and 'keeper Madeleine O'Meara logged eight saves.