The women’s soccer team hosted the NCAC finals at Carl Dale Field on Saturday, Nov. 5. Their opposition, the Wittenberg University Tigers, entered the match fresh off an upset win over first-seeded Denison University and with a record of 9-8-1. Wooster, 10-7-2 entering the contest, had just beaten the second-seeded Kenyon Lords in a thrilling penalty shootout that saw the Scots score 10 flawless spot kicks to Kenyon’s nine.
When the squads matched up in the regular season, the Scots had beaten the Tigers 4-2. However, in this championship fixture, thanks to a breakout performance by Wittenberg first-year, Brooke Mullis, the Tigers won their sixth NCAC conference title by a score of 3-2. Mullis entered the contest with zero points on the season but was involved in every Wittenberg goal on Saturday.
Attendance at the championship was through the roof, with over 400 fans and students coming out for the match. Senior captain Lillian Miller described the Scots’ pre-match mentality as a team knowing that “[they] had a tough job ahead of [them] and [they] didn’t want to go in overconfident.” Wooster started in their usual 4-3-3 formation, while Wittenberg deployed a 4-2-3-1.
The Scots dominated possession for the entire game and came out swinging with a quick goal scored in the third minute by Miura Wiley ’22. A loose ball near the top of the Wittenberg box was picked up by Wooster striker Teddi Farson ’23, who then slotted Wiley in down the left-hand side of the box. Wiley thumped her finish into the roof of the net to give Wooster a 1-0 lead.
Wittenberg could not break Wooster’s midfield block, made up of Kylie Davis ’22, Maya McDonald ’22 and Naomi Mann ’24. They bossed the midfield while the attacking three of Wiley, Farson and Hallie Krzys ’25 pressed the Tigers’ back line at just the right moments, forcing bad passes that their midfielders could then pick up. At one point, the Wooster press was so suffocating that a Wittenberg defender cleared a ball straight into one of their own fans. A resounding thud echoed across Carl Dale as the fan took it square in the rib cage.
After a major lull in the game between the 15th and 35th minutes, Wittenberg found a shock equalizer in the 37th minute as they forced a well-placed corner over the line to make it 1-1. Following the goal, Wooster rotated in some fresh legs in the midfield to see the half out. After flying down the left sideline to keep a heavy pass in play, Katie Schumacher ’23 provided one more good look at goal before halftime with a deft lateral pass into a gaping hole in the center of Wittenberg’s defense, but a miscommunication saw the move fizzle out.
Wooster thoroughly outplayed Wittenberg in the first half by dominating possession and taking the majority of the shots. Wittenberg struggled to connect a single pass in or around the Wooster danger area. In open play, there were not many better defenses in the NCAC this season than Wooster’s back four of Kelsey Stone ’22, Alexa Bencic ’22, Helena Janczak ’23 and Lily Glaza ’25. Bencic said that “part of what made our back line strong was our chemistry. We all communicated very well and gave constructive criticism when needed, but also tons of encouragement and positivity.” Anchoring the defense was goalkeeper Amanda Flory ’25, who, along with Bencic and Stone, was named an NCAC All-Tournament player.
The Scots came out with a pep in their step in the second half. They pressured hard from left to right across Wittenberg’s back line just as they did early in the first half. Once again, the press and a constant spray of wide passes from McDonald and Mann saw the Scots get ahead in the 49th minute. Krzys, who made an excellent effort to get on the end of a pass down the right sideline, whipped in a peach of a cross to Farson who timed her run to perfection and slapped a header in for the Scots’ second goal. The pandemonic outpouring of emotion following the goal was the type of stuff the beautiful game is all about. Afterwards, Farson reflected on two years of injury and the pandemic, saying that her “goal on Saturday was special to [her] because [she] had been waiting two years for that moment.”
Wittenberg had two dangerous set pieces following the goal, but Flory collected well, coming off of her line. Unfortunately, the Tigers capitalized on a communication breakdown during a set piece. The Tigers held two players over a dead ball and pulled their only wide player into the box as a distraction. Just as the referee blew the whistle, Wittenberg’s Hannah Heald peeled off down the left side of Wooster’s wall and received the free-kick from Mullis inside the Scots’ penalty area. Heald stutter-stepped and placed a shot far post, top corner to tie the match 2-2.
Following the Wittenberg equalizer, the referee began to lose control of the game as Wittenberg racked up 11 fouls and Wooster answered with nine of their own. The neutral spectator would agree that yellow cards should have been brandished on a series of nasty challenges by the Tigers in the 55th to 60th minutes. Krzys got close to scoring for the Scots in the 67th minute after cutting inside on her right foot and letting fly from 20 yards out.
In the 79th minute, a one-on-one midfield battle led to Wittenberg being rewarded a free-kick 30 yards out. Mullis stepped up and curled the free-kick directly into the top-corner to give the Tigers their go-ahead goal. With only ten minutes left in the game, the visitors resorted to time-wasting and stuffing the ball into the corner via their wingers.
However, once Wooster regained possession with about five minutes left, the match became frenzied. Wittenberg could not touch the ball. The Scots proceeded to take multiple shots and even drew the games’ first yellow card after Farson let a long pass roll across her and committed Wittenberg’s right back. For the last two minutes, the Scots floored the Tigers with multiple crosses into the box and dribbles in the danger area. Emotions reached fever pitch levels when Krzys picked up a throw-in in the box with five seconds left and received a full-blown rec league hack to the shins which was undoubtedly a foul that would have given the Scots a spot kick. However, the referee saw no foul play and blew the final whistle, ending the Fighting Scots’ onslaught.
The women’s soccer team continues to impress year after year as they consistently make deep runs into the NCAC tournament. Bencic, a captain, said that “these have been the best four years of soccer in [her] entire life.” She added “roll Scots, PTK and play for the fashion leggings.” Farson, a rising senior on the squad, is looking forward to next year; “our team has extreme talent that I believe is going to once again take us far. The team dynamic will be strong and redemption is in our future.”
On Saturday, Nov. 6, the Wooster football team hosted its final home game of the season against its longtime rival: the Allegheny College Gators. Determined to give its seniors a positive final memory at John P. Papp Stadium, the Scots put on an offensive show for its fans, matching the Gators score for score and pulling away late to capture a 59-41 win.
From the opening kickoff, it was clear that the Scots’ offense was in rhythm. After Allegheny went three-and-out on its first offensive drive, captain quarterback Mateo Renteria ’22 capped off a quick Wooster score with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Troy Baughman ’22. Renteria was a standout in this game, completing 74.5% of his passes, tossing for 506 yards and throwing six touchdowns with just one interception. Allegheny’s high-flying offense responded on the second play of its ensuing drive with a 68-yard touchdown strike to tie the game 7-7. Wooster retook the lead at 14-7 on a 36-yard Renteria pass to Douglas Bryant II ’25. A first-year wide receiver who has been a deep threat for the Scots all year, Bryant II had a breakout game, making 13 receptions for 200 yards and one touchdown. However, Allegheny scored again to end the first quarter in a 14-14 stalemate.
Early in the second quarter, it looked as if the tide had turned in Allegheny’s favor. The Gators had quickly scored to take a 21-14 lead and, due to a muffed kickoff, the Scots started their next drive at their own four yard line. However, the Scots made a statement, driving 96 yards in 14 plays and five minutes on an Andrew Yanssens ’23 touchdown run to make it 21 apiece. Captain tight end Cole Hissong ’22 noted the offense’s resiliency. “We faced a lot of adversity in the first half, but we made plays when we needed to.” The Gators, however, again found paydirt to take a 28-21 lead. With just over two minutes remaining in the half, Renteria finished a well-engineered drive himself on a three-yard run to even the game at 28. With under 30 seconds remaining, Langston Williams ’23 forced a crucial fumble that was recovered by Beau Greenwood ’22. The Scots’ offense and special teams took advantage, as a 21-yard Renteria pass to Hissong set up a successful 25-yard field goal from Lake Barrett ’23 to give the Scots a 31-28 edge at halftime.
The Scots and Gators both opened the second half with touchdown drives and Williams blocked an Allegheny extra point attempt to make it a 38-34 game early in the third quarter. A three-and-out, blocked punt and quick 17-yard drive later, Allegheny was suddenly back in front 41-38. On the next Scots’ drive Renteria and Hissong again connected, this time from seven yards out, to give the Scots a 45-41 lead. Hissong said “I had a good one-on-one matchup with the safety rolled down, I was able to get some separation and Teo put in a great spot and I was able to get the toe tap.” Allegheny quickly responded by penetrating deep into Wooster territory. Just when it looked like Allegheny would seize the lead, Williams made another terrific play, tipping a pass to captain linebacker Angelo Petracci ’22, who came up with the interception. Petracci gave credit to Williams for the play. “Langston made a great play on the ball that made my job easy.” From there, the Scots stretched their lead to 52-41 at the third quarter’s end on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Carter Warstler ’24.
The Scots’ defensive opportunism continued. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Williams again terrorized the Gators by intercepting Allegheny to give Wooster a short field. On the very next play, Warstler reeled in a 26-yard pass to give the Scots a 59-41 lead. With Allegheny threatening again at the Wooster 5-yard line on its ensuing drive, Domenic DeMuth ’24 strip-sacked Allegheny’s quarterback and Neil Clayton ’24 recovered the loose ball to snuff out any hope of a Gators’ comeback. Hissong was extremely satisfied with the win, noting that “having not won a game against Allegheny in my four years added a little extra motivation for me, and I just tried to make plays when I could.”
This was not just the final home game and penultimate game of the season for Wooster, but also a celebration of Wooster football’s seniors. Petracci had nothing but good things to say about the experience. “The best word to describe my last home game was grateful. Looking back after four years, I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. Lining the hill for the last time, I thought about how blessed I’ve been to play football at the collegiate level and have Coach Colaprete and staff mentor me through the process.”
The final game for the Scots will take place at Wittenberg University, as they take on the Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1:00 p.m.
The Fighting Scots volleyball team put on a performance for the ages throughout the NCAC tournament, demolishing Oberlin and Hiram in straight sets on Friday, Nov. 5 to advance to the conference semi-final. After dominating Oberlin in the first round, the Scots were on a collision course with Hiram in the second round.
Wooster’s evening match-up proved to be a walk in the park, as the Hiram Terriers showed little bite. The Fighting Scots let Hiram keep the first set close before a combination of Hiram errors and kills from Seven Townsel ’22 and Hayley Nash ’22 allowed Wooster to come back from a 21-17 deficit. Three kills by Katie Billetdeaux ’22 and another from Nash wrapped up the first set, allowing Wooster to bring out the brooms and record their second sweep of the day. Nash managed 16 kills in the match, which put her over the 400 kill mark for the season. Wooster’s back-to-back set wins of 25-12 earned the Scots a spot in the semi-finals.
Wooster’s stars shined throughout Friday’s games, as Nash led the Scots in kills in the Oberlin and Hiram victories. Nash’s performance was the exclamation mark at the end of a season during which she had already earned first-team All-NCAC honors for the second time in her career, as she first claimed the honor during her first-year. It is worth noting that there were no All-NCAC teams named for the 2020 season, as a pandemic served as the only defender capable of meeting Nash’s ferocity at the net. However, as with all team sports, no star can shine individually. Wooster’s second first-team All-NCAC member Syd Case ’22 recorded her 1,000th assist of the season during the Oberlin match to achieve a mark that has not been reached since 2012. The third Fighting Scot to receive All-NCAC honors, second-teamer Billetdeaux, recorded her 300th kill of the season against Oberlin, to put this year’s hitters in historic company. Nash and Billetdeaux were the first teammates in just under a decade to record 300+ kills each.
In the semi-final match, the Scots faced a monumental challenge, as the Denison Big Red volleyball team has been nothing short of a powerhouse, finishing the regular season with a 19-7 record and only losing four sets in their regular season sweep of all eight NCAC teams. Denison earned a first-round bye and looked keen on making a deep run as they held not only the no. 1 seed, NCAC Player of the Year, NCAC Newcomer of the Year, Coach of the Year, two members of the All-NCAC first team and two All-NCAC second-teamers.
Wooster came into the game flying high as their prowess on the Livingston Gymnasium floor continued. The Fighting Scots jumped out to a 6-0 lead in set one as the Big Red struggled to find a rhythm in their first game of the weekend. Denison went on a 9-3 run after their early deficit to tie the game at 9-9; however, no team managed to take a lead of more than three points before a Billetdeaux kill gave Wooster the chance to grab a crucial set one. Denison’s Newcomer of the Year, Daria Rodriguez ’25, committed an error that ended set one with an astonishing score of 28-26. Wooster won the following set 25-19 as Billetdeaux recorded yet another decisive point, and it seemed as though the Scots were on the way to another sweep, but eventually the Big Red reminded everyone why it tore through the NCAC during the regular season. Denison took control of set three after the teams were locked at 19-19 as four kills and two errors won them six points and the set, 25-19. The fourth set would see Wooster knock Denison off their pedestal as kills from Townsel and Nash awarded Wooster the third set and the victory over the mighty Big Red. Billetdeaux and Nash led the way with 22 and 20 kills, respectively. Case accumulated a staggering 57 serves on the Scots’ 78 points and Sydney Fitzcharles ’23 added 28 digs to put the Scots in the NCAC Championship. Heights of this altitude had not been reached by Wooster since the storied days of the 1980s.
Wooster’s championship matchup with Wittenberg would see them step up on the court with yet another dominant force in the NCAC. Wittenberg was the only team to challenge Denison as they recorded seven wins against the NCAC losing only two sets, though they fell to Dension during the regular season 3-2. The Fighting Scots proved to be outmatched by the Tigers of Wittenberg as they were defeated in straight sets (25-19, 25-20 and 25-10). Not for lack of effort, the Scots appeared to run out of magic as Wittenberg ran away with the third set and the NCAC Championship.
The match was not without noteworthy moments as Case reached 1,144 assists on the year, only 11 short of the single-season record, however her 10.79 per-set average set the top single-season mark. Case had the following to say about the weekend: “experiencing the NCAC tournament felt special not only because of the wins but also because of my teammates. We all played hard for each other, and I couldn’t ask for a better crew to top the no. 1 seed and make it to the finals with. Although I am sad to be graduating in the spring, this team still has so much to show, and I am excited to watch them next fall as a Wooster alum!”
Nash took hold of third place on the scoring-era season kills list with 432. While her partner in crime, Billetdeaux, claimed second-place on the scoring-era single-season hitting percentage list finishing at .340. Billetdeaux shared her thoughts on the season. “Coming into the conference tournament as the no.5 seed, we knew we would have to work our way to the top. That meant playing in all four matches in the span of only two days. We really wanted revenge against Hiram since they beat us in five sets on senior night, so that was an additional motivator, in addition to moving on in the tournament. The Denison match is one that I will never forget. Even though the first set was extremely close and went into extra points at 28-26, I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that we would lose. Our team was playing with such intensity and confidence. We were playing the best volleyball we have all season, and I came off the court after that first set so thankful to be a part of this team. Taking down the no. 1 seed who had no conference losses—and doing so in their home gym—was amazing! Overall, I could not have asked for a better senior season or teammates to share it with.”
Fitzcharles tied All-American KateLynn Riley’s record for season aces in this scoring-era with 50. Reflecting on the semi-final victory Fitzcharles said, “the win over Denison was one that I will carry with me for the rest of my volleyball career and life. It was a true representation of what kind of team we are: one that plays for each other.” Townsel and Fitzcharles were named to the All-Tournament team.
Congratulations to the volleyball team for its historic performance this season. To the seniors, thank you for your time and effort. Roll Scots!
It is my first year playing rugby at Wooster and my fifth year playing overall, as I played during high school. As a first-year student, finding out that Wooster had a rugby club made me very excited to join and extend my rugby career. I started playing rugby during high school with the Brunswick Valkyries, a club team in Brunswick, OH. Not only did I have no experience with the game, but I had no idea rugby was even a sport until my friend dragged me to a practice. I was so lost and confused throughout the entire first practice. However, the energy of the players and how they welcomed me as family kept me coming back.
Once I started to understand the game, I fell in love with rugby. I spent countless hours outside of practice, working with my high school coaches in one-on-one training sessions and joining a personal training company called NST to help me improve my skills and be more explosive on the field. I put in a lot of work in order to get where I am today. Unfortunately, during my senior year of high school, I played through terrible shoulder and neck pain. After my difficult senior season, I decided that my body needed me to stop playing the sport I loved so much, despite my previous plan to continue my rugby career at a very well-known school with other members of my graduating class. However, I noticed posters all over campus about a rugby club informational meeting during the first week of classes at Wooster. As a first-year student, I was unaware that there was even a rugby club at Wooster. Even though I was injured, I went to the meeting to get to know the players and make friends. Once I went to the meeting I couldn’t walk away and not play because I love rugby too much, so I joined the team. As soon as the meeting was over I called my parents to tell them I was going to join the team and two days later I went home to grab my cleats. I am so happy that I ended up joining. I know that I would have regretted it if I hadn’t. The Wooster rugby roaches, Stephanie and Skylar Snoeberger, are amazing and I am so thankful that they are our coaches.
Starting the season was very tough because most of the team had never picked up a rugby ball before. The coaches were super patient with all the new players, and knowing what it was like to learn the game late, I took time to make sure the players felt comfortable and knew they weren’t alone. Our first game against Baldwin Wallace was a very tough and unfortunate loss. However, from that point moving forward, the team took initiative to get better. Watching film and having our amazing coaches Stephanie and Skylar Snoeberger to guide us helped us improve dramatically, as well as the determination in each one of my teammates.
Rugby is a team sport and every single one of my teammates is an amazing athlete that brings something new to the field that is necessary to keep going. I personally saw such a growth from the team which struck me to push myself even harder. The Wooster women’s rugby club grew from not knowing how to pass a ball on the first day of practice to being tied for first place with the team that beat us. From the first game we fought long and hard to beat every team we faced. I am so proud of the Wooster Rugby team. I am also proud to announce that I received the rookie of the year award for the 15s season. Each player has improved and grew together. I cannot wait for the upcoming spring 7s season with my new rugby family.
The rugby club team finished its fall season with an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, Nov. 6. Congratulations on a great season and good luck preparing for the spring season!
Recently, scientists have discovered what they think is the first planet ever to be found outside our galaxy. This possible exoplanet, meaning a planet outside our solar system, was discovered in the Whirlpool Galaxy (the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51)) by NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory, according to NASA. All other exoplanets ever discovered have been found in the Milky Way Galaxy, until now. Most of them are less than 3,000 light-years from Earth. This new exoplanet could be up to 28 million light-years away, thousands of times farther than the others.
Although this discovery marks a major milestone in astrophysics, the planet’s existence cannot be confirmed for another 70 years. This is because the possible extragalactic exoplanet has a large orbit; it will not cross in front of the binary path for another 70 years with a large margin of error. This means scientists must wait to see another transit. The team of scientists who made the discovery used X-ray wavelengths, which are undetectable to the human eye.
The team used dips in the brightness of X-rays from X-ray bright binaries, which contain a neutron star or black hole. A black hole is essentially sucking material off of a small host star (usually a neutron star). The stellar material being sucked up by the black hole radiates X-rays. The brightness of this event is well-known and can be used to measure distances relative to other events (like the transit of this mystery extragalactic exoplanet).
If this discovery is proven, experts say that it would have had to survive a supernova explosion, which is an explosion of stellar materials at speeds up to several percent of the speed of light. There is a dying star very near the system of interest. This supernova would drive an expanding shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium, obliterating the exoplanet.
Scientists believe that the companion star could explode as a supernova and blast the planet with high levels of radiation. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics’ lead researcher Rosanne Di Stefano has contributed to this finding and the new process to discover far away objects through X-ray technology.
Other scientists say these X-ray techniques are brilliant and clever, but “unlikely that it could be used to find hundreds of thousands of planetary candidates because it also relies on luck.” This is because the viewer can only view these objects when the bodies in space line up perfectly, which happens for only a few minutes to hours. Nevertheless, Di Stefano said that it is gratifying that the new method for searching for extragalactic exoplanets, which she and her colleagues first theorized in 2018, has produced an “enticing result.”
These results are monumental to the laboratory which made the discovery, but also the astrophysics world. The technique and result will lead to a whole new area of astrophysics data that can be collected and analyzed.