The Fighting Scot’s women’s soccer team continues their dominant performance in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) this year, which is reminiscent of last year when they won the conference. The Scots face a familiar opponent in Denison, whom they beat on Saturday, Nov. 2 to secure their spot in the semifinal.
The Scots played an exceptionally well-rounded game, consequently scoring in the second half. Following a goalless first half, the team doubled down with Mila Zunich ’21 scoring barely 22 seconds into the second half. About eight minutes later, the ball found the net again with Miura Wiley ’21 scoring her fifth goal of the season, giving the padding Wooster needed to secure themselves in the second spot of the NCAC and setting up a semifinal clash against Denison again. Captain Mackenzie Goltz ’20 on facing the Big Red said, “It’s pretty funny that we literally just played Denison and
then we turn around and play them at home.” On the other semifinal clash, she continued, “Kenyon and DePauw are in the same situation. For us, it’s just another game that we have to win. It’s important that we don’t feel safe just because we beat them once. This was my first year beating Denison, and we know they are a strong team. So, we have to go out and play to prove that we deserved to win Saturday and that we deserve to win again.”
The Scots have had an amazing season this year, a reflection of the team last year. On the performance with respect to last year, Goltz stated, “I’d say our descriptive word last year was ‘power.’ Our word this year is ‘cohesion’. I feel that we are in-sync as a team. The game flows and we respond to each other. That’s super important in these high-stake games. We need to be able to rely on each other. I think we have that right now.” Echoing Goltz’s statement, keeper Molly Hutter ’21 said, “This year we have more experience with playoffs, as our upperclassmen have gone to the playoff’s multiple times. Right now, I believe we are the best team in the conference with our experience and determination. Our team is clicking and playing at our best right now.”
Hutter, who has not allowed a goal for the past six consecutive games, of which she has 19 saves, tops the NCAC with about 69 saves and goal against average of 0.56. On asking her about her contributions to the shutouts (preventing the opposing team from scoring the whole game), she said, “Shutouts are a team effort and the shutouts just show our clear domination on the field. We play, defend, score and win as a team. While the shutouts are great, they don’t necessarily win you the game, our forwards have done their jobs and scored goals to get us to the playoffs.”
However, Goltz is more forthcoming in praise when she said, “first and foremost, we have shutouts because Molly is just a dominating force in the net. She has worked extremely hard to improve all areas of her game, and she gives 100 percent every game. She is our backbone and then we come together to support her.” Goltz continued, “We are able to maintain shutouts because we attack and defend as a unit. Our forwards aren’t afraid to put the work in and sprint back to defend our goal. The defensive line is solid, and the midfield drops in to help pick up marks. And when it comes down to it, no one is afraid to slide to block a shot or put a body on an attacker. We play physically and smart, and that [is what] allows us to shutdown other teams.”
With a 5-1-2 conference record,the defending champions look to make a repeat of last year where they entered as the second seed and defeated Kenyon 2-1 in the season, taking home the conference trophy by beating the Wittenberg Tigers 4-0 to take their first NCAC Tournament Championship and to make their f