Women’s Soccer finishes at program best

Ben Blotner

Contributing Writer

For the first time in team history, the Fighting Scots women’s soccer team advanced past the first round of the NCAA tournament, defeating Case Western Reserve University on Friday at Joe Bean Sta- dium in Wheaton, Ill. After the teams finished regulation in a scoreless tie, a pair of over- time periods also went without a goal. It was a shootout that finally decided the result, with Wooster making four kicks over the Spartans’ three.

The Scots went in knowing that they were in for a chal- lenge, but continued to lean on their defense, which has been a strength all season long. “We knew the size of the task in front of us with a very ath- letic and skillful Case West- ern team, who were ranked ahead of us in the region and 21st in the nation,” said Head Coach Geordie Brown. “As we have all season, we asked the defense to keep us in the game and give us the chance to win it at the other end, which they did.”

Case Western fired off 26 shots on goal compared to Wooster’s seven, but the Scots’ defense was able to stop all of them. This earned the defensive players praise from their coach, particularly goalie Mol- ly Hutter ’21, who went 11 for 11 in saves.

“Molly and the back four [de- fenders] were tremendous,” Brown said. “The work rate in midfield and upfront was terrific, and we managed to keep our nerve in the shootout. We are so proud of this group and the culture they have created.”

While the Scots’ defense was a crucial factor in their victory, they also could not have done it without shootout heroics from their offensive players. After the Spartans’ Kimberly Chen ’20 made the first penalty kick for a 1-0 Case Western lead, Alexa Bencic ’22 responded with the first Wooster point to even the score. A kick by Anika Washburn ’22 gave Case Western the lead, but once again the Scots answered, this time with a shot from Brie Jarrell ’21. The pattern continued, as Jo- hanna Dunkers ’23 briefly gave the Spartans the lead back. Mackenzie Goltz ’20, however, would quickly respond to tie the shootout score at three. Case Western finally missed a penalty kick for the first time, and the Scots took advantage with a shot from Mila Zunich ’21 that gave them their first lead of the day. When the Spartans missed their final at- tempt to tie the score, Wooster emerged victorious, making team history by outlasting Case Western in a battle of defenses and wills.

Coming off the high of this triumph, the Scots ran out of gas the following day, falling 1-0 to Wheaton College in the second round of the playoffs. The defense once again shined, but a goal from Wheaton’s Jen- sen Ellis ’22 was the difference maker as Wooster’s run came to an end. Overall, it was a highly successful season for the Scots; they finished with a 14-3-4 re- cord, including streaks of four and five consecutive wins, and went undefeated in their home stadium. Despite the upcoming graduation of multiple seniors, the team appears set to continue thriving in 2020.

Cleveland Browns are in distress

Brandon Borges

 

After a win over a divisional rival on primetime television, a team is usually celebrated and talked about within the organization with glowing optimism, with media attention concerned with the upward trend a team may be on. For the Cleveland Browns, this was almost the case, as they had beaten down the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-7, the defense trampling over the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph, and Baker Mayfield continuing the trend of taking care of the football by not throwing a single interception. However, that narrative quickly and forcefully changed with an incident occurring with eight seconds on the clock. Myles Garrett, universally known as the best defensive player on the Browns, swung a five-pound helmet at the head of Rudolph and received an indefinite suspension that is suspected to last for the rest of the 2019 season.

This article is not to infer who was truly at fault for the incident. The NFL has determined who is at fault, and another opinion piece on Garrett’s actions would do little good to further conversation. However, for my part, I saw the action as impulsive on Garrett’s part, which has epitomized what this season has become for the Browns. Acting on impulse rather than carefully considering all outcomes of their actions has plagued the Browns organization all year. From the early determination of the Browns as Super Bowl contenders, to the lashing out at reporters over football questions, from safety Jermaine Whitehead calling for people on Twitter to fight him at the practice facility, to Mayfield very oddly shaving his beard over the course of an away game at Denver and finally to the Garrett incident, it begs the question: How did it come to this?

A lack of team discipline has been apparent for the entire season. The miscommunication between Baker and his receivers leading to misthrows and turnovers, Baker’s regression in general, a porous offensive line and key injuries in the secondary have all contributed to the decline of the Browns. But the outstanding reasons for the decline can be attributed to the failures of Head Coach Freddie Kitchens. Hailed as a “player’s coach,” Kitchens has failed to adjust to the responsibilities of a head coach. The Browns have run baffling plays all year, from a draw play on fourth-and-nine against the Los Angeles Rams, to a fourth-and-11 punt turning into a fourth-and-16 try due to a late idea change by the esteemed head coach, to eight tries on the one-yard line against the Buffalo Bills leading to no touchdown. Along with this poor play- calling is the stated lack of impulse control, as the Browns have the third highest amount of penalties and the most penalty yards on the year. These costly mistakes, the idiocy disguised as creativity and the lack of team discipline fall on the shoulders of the head coach, whose lack of experience and ability to take charge has wasted the potentials this team could have achieved.

A postseason run is not impossible for this Browns team, but it will require nigh perfection from a team now down its best defensive player for the rest of the year. Along with beating the currently surging Baltimore Ravens once again, the Browns will have to go to Pittsburgh and Glendale to beat the Steelers and Cardinals respectively, along with avoiding upsets from the Miami Dolphins and two dates with Cincinnati. But this team should, at this point, accept at least 8-8 as a positive. These games will serve as a last chance for Kitchens. Will he lead this team to a respectable end of the season, or will one too many upsets unravel a team that was just getting started?

 

Women’s basketball splits opening tournament

Chloe Burdette

Managing Editor

The Fighting Scots women’s basketball team is ready to flip the script for the 2019-20 season, after having a tough 2018-19 season with only six wins and 19 losses. Finishing 2-14 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) that same year, the Scots wanted to start their new year off on a positive note, and did so by winning their first regular season game against the Bethany College Lions with a score of 75- 54 during the Nan Nichols Classic on Saturday, Nov. 19.

“It’s always great to start the season off with a win,” captain Aubri McKoy ’20 said. Although McKoy is happy with a season- opening win, she wants herself and her team to stay hungry for more wins. “In my time here, we’ve won the first three to four games and then I think we are content. We can’t afford to do that,” McKoy added. “Since I’ve played basketball, my dad and I established a 24-hour rule. Whether I won or lost, played well or poorly, I only have 24 hours to either celebrate or sulk. After that we’re onto the next mission. That is something I’ve tried to bring to my team as well — one win is great, but we have plenty more to earn.”

Jenna Stanton ’22, a team captain as a sophomore for the Fighting Scots, thinks the game against Bethany was a goof indicator for how the team will do this season.”I thought the win against Bethany was huge.” Stanton said. “I was so excited by the potential shown by our team. I think we have a great season ahead of us and I’m excited to get started.”

The Fighting Scots came out of the gates strong against Bethany until the clock struck zero, with a double-double by Maria Janasko ’21 with ten rebounds and a solid 12 points. Adding to the numbers was A’Janay Nicholson ’22 with 14 points, a career-high for the sophomore. Along with her baskets, she attributed four steals and grabbed eight rebounds.

In the second game of the Nan Nichols Classic for the Scots, the Fighting Scots suffered a loss of 73-90 against the Mount Union Purple Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Although the loss was a tough blow, the Scots kept their spirits high and saw the game as a way to improve. “I think we put up a good fight against Mount Union,” McKoy said. “It’s always great to play highly competitive teams early on in the season because your wounds are exposed at a time in which you have ample healing time before conference play. We saw what we do well, and we saw where we can improve. Now it’s a matter of building on those strengths and nurturing those weaknesses.”

The Scots lost one of their big shooters early in the game against Mount Union, as Stanton was knocked by a Purple Raider player and broke her nose within the first play. “Although I did not get to play against Mount Union after breaking my nose, I loved getting to cheer my team on, and I was proud of the no-quit attitude we showed,” Stanton said. The loss of Stanton gave Mount Union an edge, as they scored 21 points within the first quarter while the Scots only put up nine.

Throughout the game, Cat Fiorito ’20 was determined to fight back, as she scored a career- high 22 points for the Scots. Her stellar performance snagged her a spot on the all-tournament team.

After their first two games of the season, the team hopes to improve on their consistency and drive. “We need to be great all four quarters, not just two or three! If we can put four solid quarters together, we’ll be tough,” Stanton stated.

Cross country teams finish season strong

Jackson Lovchuk

Contributing Writer

The College of Wooster’s men’s and women’s cross country teams took a trip up north to Grand Rapids, Mich. to compete in the Great Lakes Regional Championships on Sat- urday, Nov. 16. The women’s team did very well, finishing in 18th place led by a trio of sophomores including Isabelle Hoover ’22, Kayla Bertholf ’22, and Rachel Osterhouse ’22. The men’s team also put in a solid performance finishing in 33rd place. Both teams showed a lot of growth during the season and look forward to continuing their improvement next year.

Hoover was the stand out performer for the Fighting Scots at Regionals. She finished in 29th place overall with a time of 22 minutes and 18 seconds for a 6k race. This performance was strong enough to earn her All-Region accolades. She was ecstatic to see all of the hard work she put in both during the offseason and season pay off. Not only was she proud of her performance, but she was proud of the team’s performance as well. “The women’s team overall had a fantastic season and finished with strong races. Although we ran in rough conditions and the course was a mess, everyone had strong performances. The team’s work ethic was incredible this year and the results were obvious. As a very young team, we show a lot of potential—I am excited to see what we will accomplish in the coming years,” stated Hoover. Despite the amazing results this season Hoover claims her “goal for next year is to qualify for the National meet. I fell short this year, but hopefully with continued hard work and dedication it will be possible next fall.” Hoover and the rest of the women’s team have a bright future ahead of them and they will continue to work hard to achieve it.

For the men’s team the focus of this season was showing improvement and dedication. Future captain Noah Crane ’21 was happy to witness the team’s improvement this season and looks forward to continuing the progress next season. “We’ve had a lot of really big personal records from a lot of our run- ners this season compared to last season, some as impressive as two to three minutes faster. That type of achievement and improvement doesn’t come without putting in work every day to build yourself up and break through those barriers,” expressed Crane. Bonding with teammates and improving during the season are the most rewarding parts of any sport and the cross country team achieved both of these tasks this season. Crane declared “my favorite moment of the season was our annual 5k Under the Lights meet in November. It was such an enthusiastic and positive atmosphere with all of your teammates cheering one another on. It’s something that really makes running worth it, to see how much support you can find with one another whether you have a good race or a bad race.” This race effectively embodies the men’s cross country team because it highlights the tremendous improvements made by the team alongside the incredible chemistry shared by the team.

The conditions during the race made it difficult for the runners to perform at a high level. Aedan Pettit ’20, the top finisher for the men with a time of 26 minutes and 30 seconds for an 8k race, described that “the course was incredibly muddy which made for tough running conditions because it took a lot more effort to keep up a fast pace because the mud absorbed a lot of our energy.’’ Despite the poor conditions, the Fighting Scots inspired each other to power through and give their best. This camraderie between the team was evident throughout the entire season. “My teammates help push me every day by bringing positive energy and enthusiasm. Even on days where I’m not feeling as excited to run, they keep me engaged and help me to be the best I can be,”Pettit explained. Now that the cross country season is over it is time for the runners to focus on the upcoming track season in the spring.

Pettit describes this transi- tion by stating, “Once cross country ends, everybody takes at least two weeks off of running to allow our bodies to heal from the season since we’ve been training since June. After that we start building up mileage over winter break before beginning competition in January.”

After all of the hard work both the men’s and women’s teams put in this season, these two weeks off are more than deserved.

“The Laundromat” details Panama Papers scandal

Samuel Casey

News Editor

You know what sucks? Doing laundry. I put it off as long as possible, adding clothes to my hamper like a game of Jenga only with cotton instead of wood. Plus, the machines are al- ways in the middle of a cycle or holding the sopping wet clothes of a stranger which I am too unconfrontational to touch. So when I was recommended a re- cent addition to Netflix called “The Laundromat,” let’s just say I was skeptical. To my deep relief, however, this movie is not about dirty socks but rather the overlooked Panama Papers scandal involving the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The SparkNotes version of the scandal: In 2016, an anonymous whistleblower leaked 11.5 million documents that detailed personal financial information about wealthy individuals and public officials. The documents were created by Mossack Fonseca and were linked to shell corporations (a company with a bank account that does not actu- ally exist except on paper) which were used for fraud, tax evasion and all that good stuff.

The film opens with the masterminds behind the scheme, Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), introducing them- selves and acting as omniscient narrators who break the fourth wall. Their first monologue is an explanation of money laundering (oh now I get the title!) through a strange cow and banana analogy while wearing tuxedos and drinking martinis in the desert — it really sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The style is quite similar to Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” or “Vice” where the narrators are used to explain the complicated topics to the audience in a wry, easy-to-follow way.

The film explores three different stories of people who were affected by Mossack Fonseca. The first involves a recent widow (Meryl freakin’ Streep) who is attempting to get compensation from the boating company that caused her husband’s death. Un- fortunately, the insurance policy that the boat company has is tied to a Mossack Fonseca company being investigated for fraud. The widow is obviously mad and goes to Panama to take matters into her own hands. Bonus — the owner of the boat company is Ross Geller who I guess got tired of looking at dinosaur bones.

The second story is about the daughter of an African billionaire who discovers her father having an affair with her college roommate (yikes!). To keep her quiet, Dad gives her shares of one of his investment companies valued at $20 million. Despite the questionable parenting ethics, she goes to Panama to cash in, but learns from Mossack and Fonseca that they are worth (surprise!) nothing since it is one of the shell companies that doesn’t exist.

The final story is based on the real-life Wang Lijun incident in which an English business- man, who was laundering money through a Mossack Fonseca shell for a Chinese family, was poisoned for demanding more money.

The end of the movie shows the leak of the Panama Papers and the downfall of our friends Jürgen and Ramón who claimed ignorance through the whole process by saying that whatever illegal activities done through the shells were the problem of the wealthy individuals who owned them. They went to prison for a hot minute (literally, it was only like three months) and explain to the audience that there are many firms like Mossack Fonseca still in operation all around the world ruining the lives of innocent people. The film concludes with Meryl Streep herself calling for campaign finance reform in the United States.

Overall, it is a comical take on an important issue and a scandal that I never heard much about. It offers an important glimpse into how shell companies are not monitored enough and have a trickle-down effect on people completely uninvolved. Oldman and Banderas work great as a duo and Streep kills it per usual. A must-add to your list!

Ford v Ferrari” Film is more than just racing

Colin Tobin

“Ford v Ferrari” was directed by James Mangold and stars Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby (car manufacturer) and Christian Bale as Ken Miles (racecar driver). It tells the story of how the Ford mo- tor company planned to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the mid-1960s.

Over the past few years, Mangold has become one of my favorite working directors, with his past projects like “Logan” and the remake of “3:10 to Yuma.” I was very excited to see what he was going to do next, and once again, he delivered.

The main hesitation that I had before going to see this film was the fear that it would just be a feature-length car commercial for Ford, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. I was actually really surprised to see that Ford was depicted to be an antagonist a few times. There are constant disagree- ments between Shelby, who is overseeing production of the car, and executives at Ford who want to sabotage certain aspects of Shelby’s plan in order to gain more control. Oddly enough, the person made to be the most disliked by the end is one of the Ford executives, not someone at Ferrari. That’s another thing I really enjoyed. The story didn’t create an “us vs. them” or “America vs. Italy” type of conflict. Most of the conflicts turned out to be inter- nal rather than vilifying Enzo Ferrari and their racing team.

Damon and Bale give great performances which build an interesting dynamic between their two characters. Bale’s performance is even more impressive when you consider the 70 plus pounds he had to lose in only a few months after playing Dick Cheney in last year’s “Vice.”

One of the things I really loved about this movie was the fact that the cars and the racing always felt secondary to the characters. The film does a great job at investing you in these characters and giving you reasons to root for them. Shelby needs to sustain his reputation with Ford and Miles, because he needs the money for his family.

Another great relationship is between Miles and his son, Peter. Sure, the race sequences are adrenaline-fueled and exhilarating to watch, but it’s because you’re made to care about these characters so much. All of the ups and downs are felt through how they affect the characters, not the companies involved.

This is by far one of the best technically made films that I’ve seen so far this year. You can tell the sound de- sign during the race scenes is made to blast out of movie theater quality speakers. The cinematography during these scenes is intense and immersive. These scenes alone make it worth seeing in the theaters.

Even as someone who doesn’t care about cars or car racing, “Ford v Ferrari” is one of my favorite films that I’ve seen this year. I think that it’ll definitely be in the discussion when awards season voting opens up, espe- cially in the technical categories.