Categorized | Sports

Scots stumble, look for rebound in conference play

Jared Berg

Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots men’s soccer team had a difficult week, with losses to Muskingum, Capital and La Roche as their non-conference schedule concluded.

Currently, the team is facing  difficulties as three starting players are missing due to injury. “Obviously its tough when you lose three guys who started at the beginning of the season,” said Matt Kelly ’17. “But some of our best players in the last few games are guys who didn’t start at the beginning of the season and have stepped up into more playing time.”

Last Saturday, the Scots took on visiting Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opponent Muskingum University at John P. Papp Stadium. The opening fifteen minutes were lively, capped by a Muskingum goal. However, the Scots reacted well, responding shortly after in the 23rd minute. The equalizer came courtesy of Matthew Parmelee ’17, who raced between two defenders and calmly found the back of the net. Mouhamet Ndiaye ’18 made the crucial assist for Parmelee’s scoring opportunity .

The Scots continued to push forward after their first goal. Their offensive efforts climaxed moments before half-time, when Zachary Mastrich ’17 pushed a header towards the goal, only to be denied by a terrific Muskingum save.

For the majority of the second half, the score remained tied, with a number of scoring opportunities for either team thwarted by strong defensive play. The game-winner however, came somewhat fortuitously for Muskingum. With roughly seven minutes remaining, a Muskingum attacker collided with the Wooster goalie, regained his feet first, and stroked the ball into the vacant net.

In search of a late equalizer, the Scots pushed forward in an attempt to break the Muskingum defense. Despite a late corner kick that resulted in a shot on goal, Muskingum held out for a narrow 2-1 victory.

Midweek, the Scots traveled to Bexley, Ohio to face off against another OAC team, Capital University. Unlike their previous performance, the Scots found it difficult to keep pace with their opponent’s prolific attack, eventually falling 3-0.

Despite the result, Wooster started the game positively, creating two good scoring opportunities, one of which was saved by the Capital keeper off the foot of Matt Ehrenburg ’16.

After quelling the early offensive pushes from Wooster, Capital mounted an offensive attack of their own, this one resulting in two goals to give the Crusaders a 2-0 advantage. First, a cross into the box was met by a Capital forward to deliver the game’s first goal. Then, a terrific individual effort resulted in another goal, just one minute after the first.

After reaching halftime with Capital 2-0, they put the game out of Wooster’s reach only two minutes after the restart. The goal was incredibly unfortunate for the Scots, coming after a deflection pushed a shot against the post, only for the ball to fall at the feet of a Crusader attacker, who promptly found the back of the net. Despite a healthy number of attempts at getting on the scoreboard, Capital held out for the 3-0 victory.

The Scots looked to bounce back from this result against La Roche College, but a similar plot played itself out as they fell by an identical scoreline of 3-0. After making the trip to Pittsburgh, the Scots found it difficult to keep up with their tough opponent in the score (6-2), although they enjoyed a majority of the possession and chances in the first half. After La Roche scored the opening shot of the game, the Scots fired seven attempts on goal, but were thwarted by the keeper on each occasion.

Despite outshooting La Roche by a margin of 14 to 10, the Scots were unable to find the back of the net for the remainder of the game, with their opponents adding two more scores for good measure, creating a 3-0 defeat for Wooster. Zach Jergan ’15 led the Scots with four of their 14 shots.

The Scots concluded their non-conference schedule with a record of three wins, four defeats and one draw to give themselves a respectable record heading into a vital stretch of conference play.

“Overall, our non-conference matches have been a mixed bag,” said defender Alex Hopkins ’16. “We’ve had glimpses of quality but at the same time we’ve made mistakes that have led to poor results.”

When looking to the game ahead, Lucas Hunt ’16 remarked, “We need to regain the confidence we had in the first few games of the season. Our game against Ohio Wesleyan is an important one. It is our conference opener and we need to leave the last couple of games behind us.”

Next, Wooster (3-4-1) will attempt to end their losing streak in the aforementioned contest with conference foe Ohio Wesleyan University (5-2-1) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at John P. Papp Stadium as part of Homecoming Weekend.

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