WOOSTER, Ohio – Abby Szlachta recorded a hat trick 10 minutes into the action to give The College of Wooster an early 3-0 lead, but Centre College closed out the game on a 5-2 scoring run to slip past the Fighting Scots in their home opener, 9-8, on Saturday afternoon at John P. Papp Stadium.
The Scots (0-1) had all the momentum in the early goings, as Szlachta flicked a pass from Eliza Perry past the 'keeper just 21 seconds into the first half, and eight minutes later, the two hooked up again on a similar play that put Wooster ahead 2-0.
Szlactha scored her third goal at the 19:39 mark on a free-position shot, pushing the Scots' advantage on the scoreboard to three, but then Centre (2-0) stormed back.
The Colonels scored three goals in less than three minutes, with two coming on free-position attempts, and suddenly the game was knotted 3-3 midway through the first period and then 4-4 at halftime.
Wooster regained control to start the second, as Perry netted two goals about five minutes apart to give the Scots a two-goal cushion. It was at that juncture Centre started its game-changing scoring run, pumping in four goals during a 5:59 spurt to capture its own two-goal lead (8-6).
The Scots pulled within one on two occasions down the stretch, once when Perry completed her hat trick (8-7) and again when Ellie Hudson-Heck rifled in her first goal of the season (9-8), but Centre successfully played keep away during the final minutes of the game to prevent Wooster from a game-tying goal.
Perry led all scorers with six points (three goals, three assists), while Szlachta's three goals put her next in line. Others getting on the stat sheet were Shelby Stone (1 goal, 1 assist), Hudson-Heck (1 goal), and Shannan Pullara (1 assist).
Goalkeeper Isabel Perman made 12 saves, with seven coming in the second half.
The Scots next official game won't take place until March 22, as they'll be in England for part of spring break.