Field hockey jostles for conference playoff spot

Lincoln Plews

Sports Editor

To this point in the season, the field hockey team has had its fair share of ups and downs. The Scots have not lost more than two games in a row, but they are currently sitting just below .500 on the year with a 6-7 record (4-5 in conference). The team’s longest winning streak was three games in mid-September against Transylvania (3-0), Washington & Jefferson (2-1) and Earlham (5-0).

With six games remaining in the regular season at press time, the Scots are in fifth place in the NCAC. The top four teams make the conference tournament on Nov. 5, and Wooster trails the fourth place Wittenberg Tigers by 1.5 games (6-4 in conference).

The team suffered a significant setback in the playoff race this past Saturday, as they fell in a back-and-forth 3-2 decision to the Tigers. Wittenberg’s first goal came just six minutes into the game, but the Scots answered 10 minutes later with a goal from Taylor Thorp ’15. Thorp recovered a wide right shot from Kerry O’Connor ’17 and put it past the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

Wittenberg scored again five minutes into the second half, but Wooster answered with a goal of their own, this time off a penalty shot from Shelby Stone ’15. Unfortunately, the game would not stay tied for long.

The Tigers took just two minutes to regain the lead, putting a rebounded shot past the keeper to score what would be the game-winning goal. Despite the unlucky final goal, goalkeeper Carrie Mount ’15 gave an inspired performance, stopping 13 of 16 Wittenberg shots on goal, as the Scots were outshot 34-10 on the game.

Two days before their game against Wittenberg, the Scots faced the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops in an away match-up. OWU trails Wooster in sixth place in the NCAC, so the outcome was also essential to the Scots’ playoff hopes.

The teams battled hard throughout, but the game remained scoreless for the first 54 minutes. After missing their first nine shots, lightning struck for the Scots in the 55th minute. O’Connor delivered a penalty corner to Leah Prescott ’17, who dished the ball to Thorp deep in enemy territory. Thorp then knocked it past the keeper to give the Scots a 1-0 lead.

The Scots locked down defensively in the remaining time, allowing OWU just one shot on goal in the final 25 minutes, and took the victory.

After the game, team captain Taylor Thorp credited her entire team with helping to set up the goal and take home the win. “Like many other sports, a goal in field hockey cannot be scored without the hard work of the whole team,” said Thorp. “It starts with a strong defense to prevent the other team an opportunity to score, a solid midfield to bring the ball onto the offensive, and forward players to finish with a goal.”

Co-Captain Shelby Stone also commented on the team’s positive chemistry. “We have had a lot of good combinations, especially between the midfield and forward lines,” she said. “We have a lot of players who just work really well together, and this season, they’ve been clicking.”

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