Category Archives: Sports

Men’s Lacrosse Battles to Remain Undefeated in NCAC

Miles Rochester

Sports Editor

 

 

 

The Scots’ men’s lacrosse team continued their perfect start to conference play this past Sunday with a 10-8 triumph over long-distance rivals DePauw. Despite an inconsistent start to the season, during which Wooster was handed losses in consecutive games, the facts of this victory may lead one to believe that Wooster’s men are finding their groove.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle that saw two different players from each team finding the net. Scoring was initiated in the fourth minute by DePauw, but Wooster would not let its poor start dictate the remainder of the game. Almost exactly two minutes later, Ben Byars ’24 leveled the score with some help from fellow classmate Charlie Ballou ’24. 

After getting on the score sheets, a fire was lit within the hearts of the Scots. This fire, along with an extra man opportunity provided them with a chance to take the lead. A flurry of shots was fired in the direction of DePauw’s goalkeeper, but only one found the intended target and it was saved. Soon after, the dominating Scots were countered and scored on, putting DePauw’s Tigers up 2-1. Facing another deficit, the Scots once again showed their grit and determination by taking back a goal for themselves, this time in less than a minute. It was Will Fink ’25 who pocketed the second goal, set up by Vinny DiLeo ’24. Fans were at the edge of their seats, struggling to keep warm, but remained intrigued and reheated by their home side’s resilience. However, in the final four minutes of the first quarter, DePauw’s attack began to find rhythm, as they posted five total shots, one of which was on goal but saved by goalkeeper Paul Chandler ’24.

The second quarter started in a very similar fashion with DePauw scoring after five minutes of play, followed by an immediate Wooster response. This time, it was an unassisted DiLeo who scored his 17th goal of the season to tie the game. The stalemate was broken soon after when the Tigers took the lead for a fourth time in the first half. Wooster faced the pressure of trailing once again.

The only thing more impressive than Wooster’s ability to quickly earn back goals was DePauw’s inability to hold on to a lead for more than two minutes. Less than 30 seconds later, Ben Kennedy ’22 found the net and tied the game for a final time. With eight minutes left in the first half, the game seemed to be in the hands of DePauw. The aggressive Tigers offense pummeled Chandler with shots, but the sturdy goalkeeper refused to allow a goal. A much-needed timeout was called by Wooster with 4:12 remaining and 30 seconds after play resumed, Ballou and Byars linked up once again to give the Scots their first lead of the game. Wooster, unlike its opponent, would not let its lead slip. With only a minute left on the clock, Ballou found Kennedy who launched the ball into the back of the goal to double the lead. Halftime was called with Wooster holding a 6-4 lead.

In the third, DePauw was in desperate need to regain control of the game and they got off to a great start by scoring within the first minute of play. The Scots, however, did not lose their focus, and determined to send DePauw home defeated, the Scots buckled down and went to work. The next 10 minutes saw both teams struggling to score, but after five shots, including a save by the post, Wooster’s Fink fired a shot past the keeper to lengthen the home side’s lead to two. Shortly after, a Ballou goal extended the advantage to three to finish off the quarter.

A fired-up Fink scored first in the fourth to complete his hat trick, and with Wooster up four, the game seemed to be finished. DePauw thought otherwise. Three unanswered goals provided hope for the tenacious Tigers. However, the Tigers’ hopes for a comeback were ultimately dashed by Byars, who, already having netted the Scots’ first goal, went on to score the final goal of the game. After a long, contentious battle, it was Wooster who came out on top, winning 10–8.

Wish the Scots luck as they hit the road to face a formidable Denison team this upcoming Saturday, April 5.

Wooster Women’s Golf Shoots Low at Home

Joey Harris

Contributing Writer

 

 

 

Braving the elements, the College of Wooster women’s golf team took to their home course, the Wooster Country Club (WCC), for a high-swinging and low-scoring weekend at the Eva Shorb Weiskopf Invitational. The Scots finished first out of nine teams after two days of competition on April 2 and April 3, shooting a team score of 722. 

Coming off an impressive fall in which Wooster placed in the top five at all but one of their tournaments, expectations were high. “It was the same teams, and we’ve been beating them all fall,” said Kayla Audette ’22. To prepare, Audette said Wooster spent more time at the WCC this week than they normally do with the hopes of securing their third first-place finish in a row at this tournament.

Still, the Scots did not put too much pressure on themselves, according to Ally Siewart ’25. Wooster placed second on Saturday by only three strokes. Despite not being where they wanted to be, Siewart said the team was confident in its ability to rebound. “Each of us had a goal in mind which was to do better the next day,” said Siewart. This mindset proved to be the right one when Wooster came out on top at the end of Sunday, beating out the University of Mount Union by 17 strokes, the team who had bested them the day before. 

Contributions to the team’s strong showing came from a number of golfers over the weekend. Notably, Melissa Burtscher ’24 finished second overall in the tournament with a score of 167, shooting 85 in the first round and 82 in the second. This was her third time finishing a tournament in the top five this year. The performance earned Burtscher NCAC Athlete of the Week honors. Other well-performing Scots included Siewart, who finished in fourth place with a score of 175, Meghan Wright ’22, who finished in ninth place with a score of 187 and Audette, who tied for sixteenth with a score of 193. 

Audette noted that a big part of the win came from the team’s consistency, a factor which she believes that the team has improved upon. The Scots relied on this consistency over the course of the two days, shooting 361 both days. Though this was not enough to come in first after day one, the final score showed just how much it mattered. “The other teams were either a lot higher the second day or everyone was a couple strokes higher, and we just were able to be a little bit lower the second day,” she said. 

Another boost to the Scots’ ability to triumph this weekend may come from their increased attention to overall fitness in the offseason. While the team has engaged in both yoga and weightlifting in previous offseasons, Audette explained that they put an added emphasis on weightlifting this year and made sure to stick with it, which has paid off. Both mental and physical stamina have improved amongst the team members on the course according to Audette, allowing them to play at a higher level. “Everyone’s hitting it further and I feel like they’re having a better time cardio-wise with walking the course,” she said. 

Looking forward, the Scots seek to carry the success of their first Spring tournament into the rest of the season. Wooster will tee off next at the John Carroll Invitational on April 9.

Bite Size Sports 4/8/22

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

 

 

NBA Regular Season Winds Down

As the NBA season comes to a close, teams are jockeying for playoff positioning. Leading the Eastern Conference is the Miami Heat (51-28), the red-hot Boston Celtics (49-30), the Milwaukee Bucks (48-30) and the Philadelphia 76ers (48-30), while the Cleveland Cavaliers (43-36) are currently in position to square off in a play-in game as the 7th seed. In the West, the Phoenix Suns (62-16), Memphis Grizzlies (55-23), Golden State Warriors (50-29) and Dallas Mavericks (49-30) lead the pack. 

Source: espn.com

 

Saints and Eagles Trade Draft Picks

The New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles made a rare blockbuster trade of future draft picks. In exchange for giving their 2022 18th overall pick, 2022 101st overall pick, 2022 237th pick, 2023 first-round pick and 2024 second-round pick to the Eagles, the Saints received Philadelphia’s 2022 16th overall pick, 2022 19th overall pick and 2022 194th pick. The Eagles opt to give up two of this year’s first-round picks to beef up their draft arsenal in future years, while the Saints hope to make a splash in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Source: espn.com

 

South Carolina Wins NCAA Basketball Championship

On Sunday, April 3, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks’ women’s basketball team defeated the University of Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship by a score of 64-49. Destanni Henderson racked up 26 points, four assists and three steals while Aliyah Boston compiled a double-double performance of 11 points and 16 rebounds. With the victory, South Carolina won its second all-time national title, while UConn coach Geno Auriemma was handed his first ever defeat in an NCAA National Championship Game. 

Source: CBS Sports

Softball Emerges as Contender in the NCAC

Langston Hood

Staff Writer

 

 

 

The Fighting Scots softball team traveled to Springfield, Ohio to take on the Wittenberg Tigers in a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 2. Before Saturday’s game, the team suffered back-to-back losses and the Scots were keen on returning to the team that is projected to finish second in the NCAC. Only DePauw, who has been a top 10 team in the nation for the majority of the season, was expected to finish ahead of Wooster in the NCAC standings. And in the first game of the weekend, Wooster looked intent on proving exactly why they deserved such a high preseason ranking. 

         After a one run first inning for the Scots, the bats came to life as the Scots hung six runs on the Tigers in the top of the second, thanks to the skilled hitting of Brooke Swain ’22, Stephanie Griffin-Sanchez ’24, Katie Agatucci ’22 and Kaydee Clark ’24. Agatucci got off to a hot start, bringing in the game’s first run and then following up her performance with another RBI in the second. Wooster’s scoring spree was so electric that Wittenberg’s starting pitcher opted to join in, handing Wooster their sixth and final run of the second inning on a wild pitch that was too much for the catcher to handle. 

         Rachael Dudziak ’24 managed the mound, holding Wittenberg to only one run, while totaling a single strikeout and allowing five hits. The Scots’ defense committed two errors on the day which led to a single run for the Tigers. Dudziak pitched five innings, which amounted to a complete game during the shortened contest as she only gave up one walk, while facing 20 batters on the day. Saturday was Dudziak’s fifth win on the season as the Scots reigned victorious. 

         Ciara Herbert ’24 contributed with a hit of her own and stellar play in center field. Following the victory, she said: “we played as a unit. Our offense was on fire and kept pushing runs across the plate and our defense kept everything in front. Rach[ael] killed it on the mound and shut down Witt’s hitters.”

         The fourth inning was another eventful one for the Fighting Scots, as the bats came back to life after taking the third inning off. After surrendering a run in the third, Wooster came back with a vengeance as Gabby Lakes ’22 brought Clark in with a double, stretching Wooster’s lead to 9-1. Following a walk that gifted Destany Blake ’25 a base, Anna Norby ’24 brought both Lakes and Blake home with a three-run homer that stretched the score to 12-1. This was Norby’s first home run of the year, showing the wealth of power that Wooster has within its lineup. 

         As one of the senior leaders, Lakes was pleased with the Scots fulfilling their potential. “We were finally able to show everyone what we were made of. We have a great lineup and a great defense. We played free, as one cohesive unit, and made a statement. We are here to play, and we are going to give you everything we have.” This is only the start for a promising Scots squad, but the lightning fast pace of the softball season does not allow for slow starts. That being said, there is still time for the Scots to achieve top form. 

         The rest of the game proved to be quiet as Wittenberg was beaten into submission and Wooster only recorded two hits as the game ended 12-1 with an emphatic victory for the Fighting Scots. Griffin-Sanchez and Norby proved to be the two heavy hitters for the Scots, totalling three RBIs apiece. 

         Wooster’s follow up performance was not as flawless, as they fell to the Wittenberg squad 8-4 with the Tigers putting the game out of reach early by scoring seven runs through the first three innings compared to Wooster’s lone run. Griffin-Sanchez provided a bit of hope with a solo shot in the third; however, the Tigers followed this with two more runs. A comeback was not out of the question in the fourth as Wooster brought three runs in thanks to an error, a Molly Likins ’22 single and a Griffin-Sanchez sacrifice fly. The comeback never found its feet as the Scots’ rally caps only recorded two more hits through the last three innings of the contest. 

             The Fighting Scots softball team will look to rebound this weekend with a Saturday doubleheader at Denison, followed by a Sunday doubleheader at home against Baldwin Wallace. Come out and support your Scots at Sunday’s cookout!

Men’s Basketball Downed by Wabash in Championship

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

On Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 26, the Wooster men’s basketball team traveled to Greencastle, Indiana to square off in the NCAC semifinals and championship. On Friday, the Scots secured a dominant 75-59 victory over sixth-seeded DePauw. In the championship game the following day, Wooster fell just short in overtime to Wabash, losing 85-84.

With a spot in the NCAC championship game on the line, both Wooster and DePauw gave it their all, trading blow for blow in the first half. In fact, the second-seeded Scots held just a 25-24 lead with 3:42 remaining in the half. However, determined to have somewhat of a cushion going into halftime, Wooster began to distance itself late in the half. Over the last 3:40, the Scots outscored the Tigers 11-6, highlighted by Nick Everett’s ’24 six points and a Jamir Billings ’25 three-pointer, to take a 36-30 lead going into the locker rooms.

In the second half, the Scots kept the pedal to the metal as they continued to stretch their lead. During the first seven minutes of the half, the Scots progressively built a comfortable lead, at one point holding a 54-38 lead. Though DePauw had staged an upset against third-seeded Ohio Wesleyan, it became clear that the Scots would not relinquish their lead, as they went on to defeat the Tigers by a score of 75-59. Top scorers for the Scots were Brandon Styers ’22 and Elijah Meredith ’24, who collected 19 and 18 points respectively.

On Saturday, the Scots turned their focus to their opponent in the NCAC championship game: the Wabash College Little Giants. Wabash, who, as the number-one seed, hosted both the semifinals and championship, was a formidable opponent. Going into the game, the Little Giants held a 16-1 conference record and an overall record of 24-3. Furthermore, Wabash had defeated Wooster by scores of 94-80 on Sunday, Jan. 30 and 97-75 on Saturday, Feb. 12. However, at times in both these matchups, the Scots had shown that they were competitive against the Little Giants. According to Meredith, the Scots understood the challenge, saying that “we were ready to play the best defense that Wabash has seen all season, but in order to stay in a game with them, we had to make every possession count.”

Since Wabash was the host of the tournament, the Scots knew that they were going into a hostile environment; however, this did not dim their resolve. As Meredith put it, “It was hard to hear each other throughout the game, but those are the best environments to play in. My teammates made a lot of big shots that quieted the crowd down throughout the game. 

Wabash has arguably the best student section in the NCAC, and they were relentless the entire game, but it makes it a fun atmosphere to play in.” Despite the raucous atmosphere, Wooster started off strong. Thanks to Jamir Billings ’25 and Najee Hardaway ’22 scoring five points each in the early minutes, the Scots jumped out to a 18-13 lead with 13:33 to go in the first half. The Little Giants fought back as the half wore on.

Over the next 90 seconds, Wabash tied the game at 18 thanks to the Little Giants’ Tyler Watson ’22 connecting on back-to-back shots. For the next four minutes, the Scots and Little Giants matched each other basket for basket. With the game knotted at 27, Wabash’s offense exploded, going on a 12-0 run to take a 39-27 lead with 4:08 to go in the first half. Though the Scots trailed by double digits, they did not give up in the face of adversity. Everett and Hardaway made layups, while Billings made a shot from downtown to make it a 41-34 game; unfortunately for the Scots, Watson answered with a buzzer-beater to extend the Wabash halftime advantage to 43-34.

Though they trailed by nine points at the start of the second half, the Scots proved why they were in the championship game, as a made Meredith jump shot and a pair of Hardaway three-pointers cut the Wabash lead to just one point with 17:18 to go in the game. Fearing a Wooster comeback, Wabash again asserted control, taking a 54-44 lead with 12:20 left in the game. Once again, however, Wooster came back. After slowly chipping away at the Wabash advantage, a Turner Kurt ’23 layup tied the game 66-66 with 3:08 remaining. On the next Wooster offensive possession, Everett made a jump shot to give the Scots their first lead since midway through the first half. However, the lead would not last long, as the Little Giants seized a 73-70 advantage with 57 seconds remaining. Though their prospects seemed grim, Everett stepped up in a big way, making a jump shot through a shooting foul and making the subsequent free throw to tie the game at 73-73. Neither team scored in the remaining 48 seconds, leading to a five-minute overtime period.

Wabash was the first team to strike in overtime, as the Little Giants’ Jack Davidson ’22 made a pair of free throws to make it a 75-73 game. Just 24 seconds later, Meredith responded with a jump shot to tie the game at 75. Wooster once again took a 76-75 lead with 2:49 remaining thanks to Meredith, who made one of two free throws. After an exciting two minutes during which Wooster and Wabash traded buckets, another pair of Davidson free throws gave Wabash a 79-78 lead with 41 seconds left. When the following Wooster possession came up empty, Wabash’s Ahmoni Jones ’23 was fouled and made two more free throws to give the Little Giants a three-point lead. After Kurt rebounded a Styers missed three-point shot, the Scots had one last chance to force another overtime. Hamilton Johnson ’22 attempted another three point shot and was fouled, giving him three free throws with three seconds remaining. Unfortunately for the Scots, Johnson missed his first free throw attempt, sealing the NCAC Championship for the Little Giants.

With the loss, Wooster was unable to extend its 18-year streak of securing a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament. Despite it being the end of the season for the Scots, Meredith’s takeaways were overwhelmingly positive. “I think that the team has a lot to feel good about the season. We had some great wins and lots of good memories made this season,” he said, “I know that this year’s NCAC championship loss will only be motivation for the team next year. We want to win the NCAC championship at home in front of our fans and return to [the] NCAA tournament.”

Congratulations to Wooster’s men’s basketball team for a terrific season and to all the seniors on the team on amazing careers!

Track and Field Sets Records in NCAC Championships

Langston Hood

Staff Writer

 

 

The Wooster track & field team turned in a historic performance over the weekend at the NCAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Springfield, Ohio. The men and women both finished second place behind Wabash and Oberlin respectively. Both teams earned their highest conference finishes since 1998 for the men, when they won, and 1997 for the women, when they placed second. Scots shined across all events, as both the women and men recorded eight All-NCAC honorees for a total of 16. 

Friday, Feb. 25 featured two victors. One was senior Isabelle Hoover ’22, who won the 5,000-meter run before winning the 3,000-meter run on Saturday, Feb. 26, which earned her the title of  NCAC Indoor Women’s Distance Runner of the Year. Her victory was particularly impressive as she got out to a rough start, losing a shoe before coming back and winning the race. Following her victories Hoover said, “Our team put in an enormous amount of work this winter and it has clearly shown. We had outstanding performances in both running and field events with several broken school records and All-Conference performances, and it has been so much fun to compete with everyone.”

After Hoover’s victory, Isaiah Kidd ’25 won the long jump to give the Scots a second win of the day. Kidd edged out the second place finisher by 20 centimeters to claim the long jump crown. Kidd offered a word of advice following his own victory: “take the risk or lose the chance because ain’t nothin’ stoppin’ you but air and opportunity.”

Wooster’s women’s distance medley team also turned in a pivotal performance as the team of Athena Tharenos ’24, Haley Bloom ’23, Ignacia Mendez ’25 and Dylan Kretchmar ’25 finished second behind the champions Oberlin. This pushed the women into second place as Friday’s competition closed, while the men came in at fifth heading into the final day of competition. Oberlin held a commanding lead of 30 points over Wooster, while the men were 13 points behind leaders DePauw and Denison. 

Saturday started off on a high note as Claudia Partridge ’23 soared to victory in the high jump, breaking the indoor program record in the process and etching her name in the top 10 nationally. Exemplary performances from the field crew continued, but this time on the men’s side, as Dylan Garretson ’25 won the pole vault, clearing a height of 4.70 meters. Garretson harped on the importance of the upcoming outdoor season saying, “The meet was a fun one and I will remember it for years to come. Over in the pole, I had an almost textbook-style day. My nerves were up before my jump at 4.55m. [The] OWU [vaulter] had just made his first attempt and I had just changed poles. With that clear, I was confident that I had won but I wanted to make sure by clearing 4.70m. Before this season, Wooster has never had a jumper go that high but it was only overshadowed by a 4.78m jump earlier in the season. The real show was with the 4×400 teams. The men absolutely killed it to get the Wooster team second place by one point. It was a great season all around and we are ready to bring that energy into the outdoor season.”

The victories kept coming as Hoover started her day off with a second championship in as many days, this time in the 3000-meter run. Nick Scherson ’22 continued Wooster’s winning ways, claiming a victory in the 400-meter run. Scherson spoke to the team’s camaraderie following the historic meet, saying, “this was my first real year of running track (I ran last year but with COVID, everything was weird and the season felt odd), so it was really cool to see the whole team cheering on everyone, especially because our team ranking came down to the last event for both the men and women. Without the support of the team, I do not think we would have performed as well as we did.”

Another key performance came from Bryant “Redd” Douglas II ’25 as he placed second in the 60-meter dash, falling to a Kenyon sprinter by just .03 seconds. In his effort, however, Douglass II did break the indoor program record with his time of 7.05 seconds. Following his narrow loss, Douglass II said, “the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” He noted that this quote pushes him to do his best before he steps onto the track and the football field in the fall. 

Luke Henke ’23 also earned All-NCAC honors on his way to a third place finish in the high jump. Henke spoke to the importance of the team’s energy saying, “the meet was great. The second day was just about everything I could’ve hoped for from a track meet. The energy was great, everyone was cheering on the team and being super supportive and it all came down to the last race, giving us just enough to get one point ahead of Wittenberg for second. With it being that close it really puts it in perspective where every single person on the team’s performance mattered, so overall it was a great team win.”

Later, Alex DeLong ’22 earned All-NCAC honors as he raced to a third-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:07.11. He said, “I feel like our team has been the closest across all events it has been in years, and I think that played a huge factor into both men’s and women’s second places finishes. We were seeded fifth by the coach’s poll.”

First-year Daysia Hargrave ’25 set an indoor program record of her own in the 60-meter hurdles finishing with a time of 9.08 seconds to earn All-NCAC honors. Tharenos also earned the women’s team important points and All-NCAC honors with her third place finish in the 800-meter run.

Both 4×400 relay teams ran their way to All-NCAC honors as the women’s team composed of Maya Vasta ’22, Bloom, Mendez and Tharenos finished second to score vital points. The men’s team turned in a stellar performance of their own, as Joe Shilts ’23, Mitch Ecklund ’24, Scherson and Davis Patterson ’24 raced their way to third place. 

 

Congratulations to the whole Wooster track & field program on their performance at the NCAC Indoor Championships. Wish your Scots luck as they head to the Polar Bear Qualifier this weekend at Ohio Northern University.