Category Archives: Sports

Women’s Basketball Bounces Back in Second Game

Langston Hood

Sports Editor

 

The Wooster women’s basketball team played their home opener against the Franciscan Barons on Saturday, Nov. 13 in the Timken Gymnasium. Following a 12-point loss to a talented Capital University team, the Fighting Scots appeared eager to redeem themselves and claim a monumental first win for the team. A win for the Scots on Saturday would also be the first win for newly-appointed Head Coach Mary Kate Tierney’s reign at the helm of the women’s basketball team. 

The game got off to a slow start as neither team could find a consistent rhythm on the offensive side of the court. Franciscan found the answer to their slow start with dominant post play. Wooster seemed unable to slow down the Barons through the early stages of the game. Harley Holloway ’24 recalled the slow start after the game saying, “I think we started off a little slower than we expected, but in the end we really pulled through and got our priorities in order. I thought the whole team played very well together and [we] were able to stay consistent enough throughout the second half in order to win.” 

Wooster’s lackluster start carried on throughout the first quarter as they trailed by one point heading into the second quarter with the score at 14-13. Not much changed in the second quarter as the Scots’ offense seemed to be stuck in a rut, mustering only eight points in the second quarter to the Barons’ 13. The Barons walked off the court stretching their lead to 26-21 as the halftime buzzer sounded. Down five after a debilitating second quarter, it would have been easy for the Scots to pack it up, tuck their tails and run, but the Fighting Scots that ran back on the court for the second half were determined and ready to take the fight to the Barons. Franciscan’s inability to pull away would come back to bite them as Wooster proved to be the better team for the rest of the afternoon. 

The Scots’ stellar guard play and sheer desire allowed them to produce 24 points, a number greater than what they had produced in the entire first half. Jenna Stanton 22 scored seven of the Scots’ third quarter points. She had the following to say about the Scots’ electric third quarter: “I’m really proud of the team for how we fought back in the second half. Our third quarter was huge for us and everybody stepped up and filled their role. I’m excited for us to keep building off this win.” Holloway scored 10 of the Scots’ third quarter points as Masani Francis 22 and Krista English 22 each added three points in the quarter. As the third quarter drew to a close, it was clear that Wooster had taken the game’s momentum and on the final play of the quarter, Holloway grabbed hold of a loose ball and raced down the court to notch a buzzer-beating layup. This play put an exclamation point on Wooster’s comeback and tied the game at 45 going into the final frame. 

In the fourth quarter, the Barons showed some resilience as the two teams battled back and forth until a Melissa Burtscher 24 three-pointer gave the Scots a five-point lead that they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. Franciscan responded with a three ball of their own, but they would not see another lead on Saturday afternoon as Wooster managed the final minutes of the game well. Alyssa Chritz 24 stretched the lead to seven with two minutes left, pushing the game out of reach for the Barons and burying them once and for all. After Saturday’s game Chritz said, “I thought it was a good team win overall; everyone contributed in different ways. It was really nice to win our home-opener and have a positive start to the season.” Chritz was vital to Wooster’s success on Saturday as she contributed a team-high of 11 rebounds to go along with her four assists. Holloway and Stanton finished the game off with efficient free throw shooting and as the final buzzer sounded the Scots were victorious. Francis served as one of the team’s leaders and through her impassioned play as she added 12 points, three steals and two rebounds to the Scots’ tally. Francis was overjoyed by Saturday’s victory saying, “We had a lot of players step up in different ways and I think overall it was a good team win.”

Wooster’s 65-56 win over Franciscan 65-56 brings them to 1-1 on the season as they head into a week that will see them play three games with two home fixtures and one away. Coach Tierney led her Fighting Scots to their first win under her direction showing that Timken Gymnasium and Tierney may be a perfect match. 

Come support your Fighting Scots Basketball Teams at their respective tournaments over the weekend, here in the Timken Gymnasium. 

Voices from the Crowd – A Welcoming Family

Bryon Simpson

Contributing Writer

 

Being a part of the cross country team this season was more than just running with friends. I vividly remember the first day of practice when my new teammates and I huddled up for the first time, chanting the phrase: “one team, one family.” We huddled like this almost every day, whether it was during regular practices, meets or other special events. “One team, one family” wasn’t a motto that we just casually chanted every day, but it was also expressed during our most important times during the season. This simple phrase sticks with me because it perfectly encapsulates what this team and this season is all about.

One of the key components of why I find this team so special is how inclusive it is and how people treat each other on the team. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will be respected and find yourself at home when you are on this team. Being the diverse team that it is, you are bound to find people with similar or exactly the same interests to yours and ultimately create bonds with those people. I can’t count the amount of wonderful conversations I’ve had with teammates on a daily basis. Overall, everyone on the team has positively impacted each other in some way or form.

I really appreciate how the first-years were welcomed to the team during the first weeks of the season. The seniors did everything they could to make the new runners feel welcome and they definitely delivered. Before anyone knew it, the freshmen became a part of the team almost overnight. Even though I am a current sophomore, the loss of the 2020 season made me feel like a freshman. Although it seems obvious why I was feeling that way, as this was my first year running in college, I really lacked the social aspect during my freshman year and, as a result, didn’t have friends or know many students on campus. It also didn’t help that there was no cross country season in 2020 and less human connection in the 2020-2021 year overall. I am very glad I joined the team because meeting these amazing people on the team really improved my life.

In short, being a part of the cross country team this season made me appreciate the social aspects on campus that I didn’t have prior to this semester and because of that I will be eternally grateful to my XC family.

With the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships occurring on Saturday, Nov. 13, the season is over. Congratulations to both the men’s and women’s teams on great seasons!

Swimming Continues to Roll Against Westminster

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

On Saturday, Nov. 13, both the women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams were determined to keep their undefeated 2-0 records as they took on the Titans of Westminster College at Timken Natatorium. The women asserted their dominance early and often to defeat the Titans 199-85. Meanwhile, the men won in a nail-biter by a score of 153-145.

The women’s team set the tone immediately in the first event — the 400-yard medley relay — as the team of Hallie Findlan ’25, Ollie Bream ’25, Molly Likins ’22 and Emma Connors ’24 finished in first place and the team of Mia Chen ’22, Kay Wetmore ’23, Maddie Becker ’24 and Mariam Zayour ’24 finished in second place. From there, Wooster did not let its foot off the gas, winning every individual swimming event. Wetmore’s mentality in her victory in the 100-yard butterfly demonstrated the Scots’ relentless effort. “I tried to approach the event with the mindset of giving the event everything I had left, since it was my last individual event of the meet, which I felt really helped me to win the event.”

 

This mentality allowed a slew of Scots to win individual events: Madison Whitman ’22 won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:35.72; Connors reigned supreme in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:02.78; Becker finished the 100-yard backstroke in 1:03.60 and the 100-yard individual medley (IM) in 1:03.80 to capture victory in both events; Likins defeated the field in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events with respective times of 1:08.59 and 2:32.02; Bream triumphed in the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle with times of 2:13.90 and 5:30.69; Findlan conquered the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races in 24.53 and 54.09 respectively; and in the last individual event, the 200-yard backstroke, Zayour’s time of 2:20.03 allowed her to capture first prize.

 

Wooster carried its momentum to cap off a stellar team performance with the 200-yard freestyle relay, in which Findlan, Wetmore, Connors and Bream teamed up to take first prize while Chen Min Kim ’23, Emma Bossaert ’22 and Carol Maag ’23 finished in third place. Wetmore credited the whole swimming team for their success in the relay, saying that “everyone was cheering us on for this last event and I believe that really helped us to finish the meet strong and ultimately win the relay!”

 

While the women ran away with a victory, the men’s team was engaged in a heated battle with the Titans, as both teams matched each other blow-for-blow. However, the Scots embraced the pressure. Josh Pearson ’24 said that “we really wanted to stay undefeated, so there was added pressure, but everyone was able to use it to their advantage and swim fast races.” For Tucker Andrewjeski ’25, “the feeling of racing in a close meet is extremely fun. The pressure is high, the swim team is loud and it creates better swims for each of us.” 

Though Westminster emerged victorious in both the 400-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Scots bounced back in the individual events to secure a tight victory. In particular, Andrewjeski, Pearson and Isaac Shaker ’25 shined for Wooster. Andrewjeski dominated the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing the race in 10:16.90, and narrowly won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:22.35. Pearson stepped up to win the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.78 and the 100 IM in 55.46. Shaker attained solid victories in both the 200-yard butterfly and the 500 freestyle with his respective times of 2:01.88 and 5:00.15.

Up by a score of 147-134 going into the final 200-yard freestyle relay event, the Scots needed a third place finish to tie and a second place finish to win the meet. The team of Shaker, Ryan Gross ’25, Graham Letkeman ’23 and Zach Fickes ’25 removed any doubt of a Wooster victory, finishing in second place with a time of 1:31.43.

The performances by both teams reinforced the Scots’ confidence and optimism for the rest of the season. Wetmore believes that “we will definitely continue to be very competitive throughout the rest of the season. We have great depth on the women’s team, which ultimately helps us score points and win events, and I believe we will continue to get faster as the season continues!” Pearson pointed out that “lots of people have put up solid times already and everyone is showing improvement as we move into the season. Especially with our mid-season invite coming up, which we will be resting up for, I think there are definitely big things on the horizon for this team.”

The Scots look to continue their undefeated seasons on Friday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. when they travel to Alliance, OH to take on the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. 

Cross Country Finishes Strong at Regionals

Jonathan Logan

Co-Editor-in-Chief

 

On Saturday, Nov. 13, the College of Wooster women’s and men’s cross country teams competed at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championships. The meet was held in Shelbyville, IN. The course, Blue River Cross Country Course, is a national level running facility that hosts 3K through 8K courses.

Placing 13th out of 37 teams, the women’s team put up its best regional performance since 2006 when the Scots finished in 12th place. The men’s team came in 28th out of 37 teams. The women’s race was a 6K event, while the men’s event was an 8K.

Wooster’s top three harriers, Isabelle Hoover ’22, Athena Tharenos ’24 and Kayla Bertholf ’22, all finished within the top 60 of the 266-deep field, and were also honored as All-NCAC runners prior to the regional championships. Hoover, who won the NCAC title in the 10,000 meter track and field event in the spring, finished with a time of 23:15.6, which saw her place 46th. Tharenos crossed at 23:24.2 and finished 55th. Bertholf, a senior and captain of the team, finished with a time of 23:26.6 in 58th place.

Bertholf, who has raced in regional meets with Wooster before, said that the atmosphere at these championships is “always high-energy” thanks to the “spectators screaming for their athletes and the teams knowing they will have to give it their all.” Bertholf’s time broke her seasonal personal record (PR) on a 6K course, and many others on the team also turned in seasonal bests or PR times. Bertholf added that “although we did not make it to the national level, I know each girl gave it their all. It was a hard race with great competition.”

Also placing for the Scots was first-year Dylan Kretchmar and senior Rachel Osterhouse with times of 23:36.8 and 25:52.1 respectively. Additionally, first-years Jessica Breth and Elise Greenwald debuted at the regional level, running the Blue River course in 25:55.4 and 26:55.2. Osterhouse’s time was good enough to break her old seasonal-best time and Breth’s time gave her a new overall PR. Kretchmar and Greenwald also set their own PR’s. 

The men’s team was led by Will Callender ’25, who just this season had broken the team course record for the 4K race in his first ever collegiate race. Callender placed 111th on Saturday with a time of 27:05 on the 8K course. Ben Nichols, also a first-year, posted a time of 27:25.6 in his first regional race at the collegiate level. Nichols rounded out the top-half of the 266-runner field with a 130th place finish.

Finishing in third and fourth respectively for the Scots were first years Drew Robertson and Eric Johnson with times of 27:59.5 and 28:03.6. Duncan Hardy ’24 finished next with a time of 28:34.9, followed by senior Alex DeLong and sophomore Mitch Ecklund. DeLong crossed the finish line at 28:47.9 and Ecklund at 29:06.4.

Callender, who has finished first in every race for Wooster this season, reflected on Saturday’s events, saying, “the team’s approach was to go out and run a good race, leave everything on the course.” The men’s team is very young, and Callender said that this regional appearance was also about “getting experience running 8Ks.” Overall, Callender was “super proud of how the team has done,” and was “thrilled with how [his] season went this year.”

Bertholf, who ran her last race at these regionals, had nothing but fond memories to reflect on. “My time on the team has given me some of my favorite memories and best friends. I cherish the early morning long runs and [the] understanding we share in races and workouts.” She added, “I cannot wait to see more growth and to see [the team] advance in championship meets in the upcoming years.”

Bite-Size Sports – November 19th

Langston Hood

Sports Editor

 

A Strange Week in the NFL

Week 10 featured a variety of wonky headlines as “Super” Cam Newton returned to the Carolina Panthers and led them to a blowout win over the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals. Other interesting results included the winless Detroit Lions tying the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-16 for the first tie of the season. The New England Patriots laid waste to the Cleveland Browns in a 45-7 blowout, while the Dallas Cowboys demolished the Atlanta Falcons in similar fashion 43-3. The Tennessee TItans continued their winning ways, reigning supreme in a nail biting 23-21 win over the New Orleans Saints. The Miami Dolphins also notched a surprising win over the Baltimore Ravens, winning 22-10. 

Source: ESPN.com

 

NWSL Championship Game Set

Sunday, Nov. 14th, played host to the NWSL semifinals as the Portland Thorns and OL Reign fell to the Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit, respectively. These results came as a surprise as both the Thorns and Reign were the top two seeds coming into the playoffs. The Reign seemed to be on their way to victory as Eugénie Le Sommer finished off a Megan Rapinoe pass in just the third minute, however the Spirit stormed back to earn their place in the championship. Despite being outshot, the Chicago Red Stars ousted the league’s top team 2-0 to punch their ticket to Saturday’s championship game. 

Source: NWSL.com

 

NCAA Constitution Changes 

On Monday, Nov. 15th, the NCAA held a meeting to announce their newest constitution, which will be up for approval in January. Among the noteworthy changes to the constitution are the support of student-athletes profiting off of their name, image, and likeness, which signals a long-awaited shift in the NCAA’s stance against such actions. Additionally, the constitution opposes treating athletes like salaried employees, while cutting the NCAA Board of Governors from 21 to nine, one of which will include a former college athlete. Most notably, the new legislation will allow each division the “authority and autonomy” to restructure themselves as they please. 

Source: The Washington Post

Women’s Soccer Dominates in NCAC Final but Falls to Wittenberg

Jonathan Logan

Editor-in-Chief

 

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.”