Category Archives: Sports

Women’s Lacrosse Scoops Up Win in Season Opener

Joey Harris

Contributing Writer

 

 

The Wooster women’s lacrosse team opened up their 2022 season on the road Saturday, Feb. 26, when they traveled to Transylvania University to face off against the Pioneers for their first game of the season. The Fighting Scots would travel back home from Lexington, KY with a win in their first out-of-conference game since 2020. 

Wooster was looking to build on the success of its 2021 season, a year where it went 8-2 and was only a point away from being NCAC champions and having a spot in the NCAA playoffs. Sporting a larger, but younger team this year, Tabitha Skornik-Hayes ’22 said that it was encouraging to see how many people were contributing. “Having graduated so many people, our team might be different, but we’re still the same Wooster; we still come out with a lot of intensity and a lot of fire,” said Skornik-Hayes. 

Intense would be the word to use to describe how the team played against the Pioneers. The Scots got off to a quick start when Kenzie Morris ’25 scored the team’s inaugural goal just over three minutes into the game. This was quickly followed up with another four goals, putting Wooster up 5-0 in the first quarter alone. Hannah Shaw ’23 and Syd Schuster ’22 each contributed one, while Caitlyn O’Connor ’22 netted two. 

Skornik-Hayes noted that the team was going into the game expecting to perform well, but she was surprised by how quickly they got the ball rolling. “There were a lot fewer nervous jitters and accidents or mistakes than I thought there would be. I think we came out really strong,” she said. 

The team never looked back from its early lead. The closest Transylvania would get to matching Wooster came almost halfway through the second quarter, when they scored their first goal of the game making the score 6-1. Despite a little more action from the Pioneers offensively, the Scots outpaced their own first quarter production. They added another six goals in the second quarter, ending the first half up by a score of 11-2. Jill Murray ’23 tallied two goals in the quarter while Kenzie Smith ’24, along with Morris, Shaw and Schuster each added one themselves. 

Transylvania rallied near the end of the third quarter, putting up three against the Scots and carrying that momentum into the fourth quarter with three more scores. Even still, their efforts were not enough to get past Wooster’s substantial early lead  . The Scots themselves netted another five in the second half, ending the game with a 16-8 win. Team leaders for statistics included Murray who scored four goals, Clare Leithauser ’23 who scooped up four ground balls and Shaw who secured nine draw controls. 

Solid defensive play was another contributing factor to the Scots’ dominance in Saturday’s game. CC Dent ’22, a goalie who had played behind Katie Shideler ’21, the 2021 NCAC Defensive Player of the Year for the past three years, knew that she had big shoes to fill. In only her second college start, Dent did not disappoint. “She was a great presence back there directing the [defense], [she] had some really amazing stops,” said Skornik-Hayes. According to Dent, the high communication and consistent play by other members of the defense were a big part of her goalkeeping success. “It’s so nice when the ball comes down here and I don’t even see a shot,” she said.

Dent attributed the team’s solid play to the culture of acknowledging what everyone can bring to the field and utilizing it. Furthermore, she hopes that the team will continue to fire on all cylinders as the season progresses. “That was just a dip in the water, but I’m excited to just get going,” said Dent.

 

The Scots look forward to three games at home before heading on the road for their spring break trip.

Voices from the Crowd: Basketball – More Than Just a Game

Khaylen Mahdi

Contributing Writer

 

 

My whole life, basketball has been more than just a game. It has been the focal point of my life, as all things circulate around my basketball schedule and aspirations. During my sophomore year of high school, I transferred to The MacDuffie School, a top-ranked preparatory school in Massachusetts, to prioritize my basketball dreams. A lot of change came about as a result of this move. As I approached graduation, my focus was to attend a school where I’d be able to play the game at the next level. Everything I did and all the energy I expended was directed towards basketball. A lot of steps that I’ve taken in my life were to put myself in the position to be able to improve as a basketball player and get to the next level, in whatever shape or form that may be.

Basketball has taught me a lot about myself and about life. It’s given me the opportunity to travel to new places, meet amazing people and have experiences I wouldn’t have had the chance to live out had I not been so dedicated to the sport. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was the decision to attend The College of Wooster; although it was a risk because I was not recruited, the reward was much greater. I walked onto the men’s basketball program my freshman year not knowing what to expect from the coaches nor the dynamic of the team. But from the very first day, the guys welcomed me as a brother. The Wooster Fighting Scot community is one of the most vibrant, encouraging and supportive Division III communities in the entire country. The Rebounder community, alumni, students, faculty and surrounding community consistently shows their support and pride for our winning culture. Being a member of the men’s basketball team has been beyond rewarding.

I was fortunate enough to be elected Captain both my sophomore and my senior year – this gave me the opportunity to create a stronger relationship with the coaching staff, along with being able to lead by example and motivate my teammates to constantly work toward becoming a better version of themselves on and off the court. As I aspired to be the best leader I could be, my teammates taught me and motivated me to be a better version of myself. Being a member of the team means to sacrifice your individual wants for that of the team. “Buying in” was a phrase frequently used my last season among the players and coaches. It meant to fully invest yourself in your individual role to best help the team accomplish its goals. The role you’re given may not exactly be one you’d wish for; however, if you fully invest yourself in the role you’re asked to play, then your sacrifices will eventually reap the benefits.

Being a Fighting Scot means to want to see your brothers alongside you succeed; it means to carry yourself professionally both on and off the court to best represent your team; it means to put the well-being of your brothers ahead of your own. To uplift one another and “play for each other” is what we try to build ourselves on. To move with a foundation that cannot be broken helps to move with purpose and intention. Each year, my connection grew stronger with my teammates and each year with the new recruits, I gained a new brother and was able to share with them all that I learned  from those before me.

Bite-Size Sports 2/18/22

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

Los Angeles Wins the Super Bowl

The Los Angeles Rams staged a fantastic fourth-quarter comeback to win Super Bowl 

Source: ESPN.com

 

NBA All-Star Game

The full NBA All-Star rosters were released on Thursday, Feb. 3. The starters in the game from the Eastern Conference are Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum and Trae Young. Meanwhile, the starters from the Western Conference are LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins. The All-Star Game will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 20.

Source: NBA.com

 

Leona Maguire Wins LPGA Tournament

Italian golfer Leona Maguire captured victory in the LPGA Drive On Championship on Saturday, Feb. 5. Maguire ran away with the title, as her score of -18 was three strokes ahead of second-place Lexi Thompson. On the last day, both Sarah Schmelzel and Xiyu Lin were outstanding, and were able to claw their way to third place and a tie for fourth place respectively. Schmelzel shot -8 in the final round, while Lin shot -9 on the last day. 

Source: ESPN.com

Wooster Swimming Amazes at NCAC Championships

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

From Wednesday, Feb. 9 to Saturday, Feb. 12, the Wooster Fighting Scots’ swimming team competed in the NCAC Championships at Denison University. At the meet, several Scots broke personal records and achieved all-conference honors. As a result, both teams were in the top half of the field, as the men’s team finished in fifth place out of ten teams, while the women’s team finished fourth out of ten.

On the opening day of the meet, the Scots got off to a strong start. The only event taking place in which the Scots competed was the 800-yard freestyle relay. The men’s team of Josh Pearson ’24, Doak Shultz ’22, Isaac Shaker ’25 and Ryan Gross ’25 finished with a time of 6:56.68, good enough for a third place finish and all-conference honor after Wabash was disqualified from the event. Gross was happy with the result, saying that “overall, I was pleased with my performances in the relays. These events are my favorite part of any meet. Even though we couldn’t have spectators this year at the conference meet, the energy that was in that building was insane.”

Likewise, the women’s team of Ollie Bream ’25, Mia Chen ’22, Madison Whitman ’22 and Emma Connors ’24 originally finished in fourth place in the event with a time of 7:51.68, but Denison’s false start allowed the Scots to jump into third place and secure all-conference in the event. Heading into the second day, the men’s team was in fourth place overall while the women’s team was in third.

 The highlight of the second day, Thursday, Feb. 10, was in the women’s 400-yard medley relay, in which the team of Chen, Molly Likins ’22, Bream and Hallie Findlan ’25 secured third place with a time of 3:54.70. The women’s team continued to shine in the relays, as the team of Findlan, Maddie Becker ’24, Connors and Likins finished in fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay. 

On the men’s side, Pearson smashed his own 200-yard individual medley school record by two seconds, finishing eighth in the final heat with a time of 1:51.77. Pearson admitted that “I was really surprised by my 200 IM. I dropped over two seconds from the Wooster Invitational, so I was very happy with that.” In the 400-yard medley relay, Damien Donado ’25, Noah Golovan ’23, Pearson and Gross finished in fourth place. These performances were good enough to allow the women to sit at fourth place overall and the men at fifth place after the second day, spots neither team would relinquish.

On Friday, Feb. 11, the women claimed yet another all-conference honor in a relay. This time, it was Chen, Likins, Bream and Findlan who secured third place in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:47.03. The next best finishes for the women’s team were in the 100-yard breaststroke, in which Likins finished fifth, Whitman set a personal record with her seventh-place time and Becker secured ninth place.

For the men, Pearson surprised in the 400-yard individual medley, becoming the first male Scot to ever finish All-NCAC in the event, finishing with a time of 4:00.30 to obtain third place. In the 200-yard medley relay, Golovan, Donado, Pearson and Schultz went back-and-forth with Wabash and finished just behind the Little Giants in fourth place.

The final day of the meet, Saturday, Feb. 12, was headlined by several records being broken. Bream was named All-NCAC in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:03.74. When asked about the performance, Bream said that “I used to be anxious before the 200 fly because it was a scary and difficult race, but I’ve done it so much that now I get to push the pre-race anxiety away and push my body to the limits of what it’s capable of, and I love seeing what I can do. My time is just as much a surprise to me as it is to anyone else.” Meanwhile, Becker set a record for the Scots in the 100-yard individual medley with a time of 59.93 in the preliminary heat while also finishing in fourth place in the final race.

Pearson again headlined the men, setting a school record in the 200-yard butterfly with his final race time of 1:50.85, good enough for fifth place in the event. Schultz finished fifth and tied the Scots’ record of 52.84 in the 100-yard individual medley to cap off a terrific meet for the Scots.

This was one of the best seasons of Wooster swimming in recent memory, as it was filled with many personal records, school records and dual meet wins amidst other achievements. With only the Kenyon Fast Chance Meet to go, the Scots are beginning to reflect on the season. Bream summed up the season by saying that, “I love this team with my whole being. The chance to train and race with such a positive, supportive and loving group of people has been the chance of a lifetime and I’m so excited to see what we can do for the next three years. Wooster was the right choice for me, and I think we just have to show the rest of the conference how absolutely powerful we can be.”

The Scots have one meet left on the schedule, the Kenyon Fast Meet, which will take place in Gambier, Ohio on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. Congratulations to the Scots on a great season and all the seniors on both teams for fantastic careers!

Six Scots Earn Honors At All-Ohio Championships

Miles Rochester

Contributing Writer

 

The Wooster track and field team was on the road this past weekend for its fifth meet of the season: the All-Ohio Championships at Otterbein University. The Scots competed in 24 of the 34 events and six athletes achieved All-Ohio honors.  

Athena Tharenos ’24, Haley Bloom ’23, Igna Mendez ’25 and Kayla Bertholf ’22 all earned their honors as part of the distance medley relay, in which the women placed second with a time of 13:09.82, only twenty seconds behind a formidable Case Western relay team. “At first I was very nervous because I wanted to run well for my team,” Mendez recalled when asked about the emotions coursing through her while competing for her first All-Ohio honor, “but when my teammates started running the relay, I stopped being nervous and just cheered for them.” 

Track and field relays are the only team-oriented event and because of this, they pose different challenges as opposed to an open event, but they also have some upsides. Mendez called one of these upsides “the baton power,” and explained that “in relay, you have the baton power, [which] means you will run faster just because you are running for the team and not just yourself.” Commitment to each other, paired with their hard work, granted the women their moment on the podium. 

The fifth Wooster award winner was Luke Henke ’23. Henke went into last weekend’s meet mentally and physically prepared to earn a top-three spot despite initially seeding at the sixth-place position for the men’s high jump event. Having jumped higher in his previous two seasons, Henke knew it was well within his abilities to disprove the rankings and reach his goal of being on the podium. Prior to the event, Henke knew that competition would be tight, but he insisted on “staying focused, having an aggressive approach and not letting [himself] lose to anyone who [he] didn’t think deserved to beat [him].” 

Because of this mindset, Henke managed to achieve his goal and place third in high jump, earning the junior All-Ohio honors. When asked about what the All-Ohio honor meant to him and what had contributed to his success, Henke replied: “I’m pretty happy to have earned All-Ohio. The feeling was soured a bit because I always feel like I can jump better, but that just pushes me to not get complacent and keep working hard to get better and better and set my sights on even greater goals. I have a lot of factors contributing to my success,” he continued, “[such as] having really talented teammates that always bring energy and competition [to] practice, good coaches that care a lot about my performance and I definitely have to shout out the Reign energy drinks in the C-store because they’re so tasty and make my brain go fast.” 

The final All-Ohio award granted to a Scot was to pole vaulter Dylan Garretson ’24, whose 14.675-foot ascent into the air granted him a third place finish. 

Despite the men only finishing ninth of 18 and the women placing eighth of 16, commendable efforts were made by Wooster’s athletes, with many of them coming within inches or seconds of reaching the podium.  

The Scots will make their next appearance at the upcoming Kenyon Classic on Friday, Feb. 18, where it is almost certain that the Scots will compete to the best of their ability.

Men’s Basketball Falls to Wabash’s Potent Offense

Langston Hood

Contributing Writer

 

The Wooster men’s basketball team suffered an unfortunate loss at the hands of the Wabash Little Giants on Saturday, Feb. 12. Wooster celebrated its senior day in preparation for the important matchup with Wabash. The Little Giants marched into the Timken Gymnasium intent on spoiling the day’s proceedings. Wabash was the only team ahead of Wooster in the NCAC basketball standings headed into Saturday’s meeting, so this game was pivotal if Wooster wanted to preserve any hope of making a late push for the regular season crown. 

The game began with sloppy play from both sides as jitters and a rowdy crowd did not seem to benefit either team; both teams turned the ball over and missed three-pointers during their first offensive possessions. However, Jamir Billings ’25 would end this drought on the next trip down the court, drilling a three-pointer to give the Scots an early lead. Billings orchestrated the Scots’ offense early on as he scored or assisted on each of Wooster’s first 15 points, setting his teammates up and doing it himself when necessary. Najee Hardaway ’22, capped off this run for the Scots with a three ball assisted by Billings to give the Scots a five-point lead at 15-10.

Wabash answered each time the Scots took an early lead. The game saw three lead changes before Wabash knotted the game at 17-17. Following a missed layup by Wooster, the Little Giants, with undoubtedly the worst mascot in the NCAC, went on a run of their own as their three-point shooting excellence was on full display. They would nail two in a row to go up six points to punctuate a 10-0 run that gave them an eight point lead about halfway through the first half. Eventually, Wooster was able to stop the bleeding with a Hardaway trip to the free throw line.

However, this was only temporary, as Wooster was unable to find its footing for the rest of the first half as Wabash shot 47% from the field and 41% from beyond the arch in the first half. Wabash’s offense was fluid and potent, as the Little Giants got to their spots and were able to generate quality chances throughout the first half to extend their advantage to 15 points heading into the break.

The Scots emerged from the locker room with more determination than they played with in the first half as Turner Kurt ’23 started the Wooster run with a jumper that cut the lead to 13. This started a trend for Wooster, as they traded buckets with Wabash while slowly imposing themselves on the defensive side of the ball. Inspired play from Hardaway, Kurt and two made free throws from Carter Warstler ’24, cut the Wabash lead all the way down to two. At the same time, the Scots’ defense held Wabash scoreless for a three-minute stretch. 

However, the Little Giants would not be so easily dispatched. Their response was immediate as the program’s all-time leading scorer, Jack Davidson, hit a three-pointer, scoring his first field goal of the second half and showing that his 17 percent shooting from beyond the arch in the first half would not continue into the second. Just like that, it seemed as if Wabash had reawakened as public enemy number one; Tyler Watson, a Wabash senior, scored 11 points in just under two minutes to stun the Scots. 

Though Wooster had already proven that they could endure scoring runs from Wabash, there was a certain feeling that this run would close out the game. Enthusiastic fans had the air taken out of their sails, as it seemed like Wabash could not miss for the remainder of the game. The two points that separated Wabash and Wooster grew into seven, then 14 as Wooster would only pull within nine points of Wabash. This all came after the 18-4 run started by Watson and proved to be too much for the Scots to overcome. Wabash’s pristine shooting was reflected by its field goal percentages, as the Little Giants showcased one of their best shooting performances of the year. They shot 55.6 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from beyond the arch, which ultimately proved to be too much for the Scots to handle.

The Scots did not do themselves many favors, as they seemed to have a way back into the game by way of the free throw line, yet couldn’t convert on many trips. Leaving 14 points at the free throw line, the Scots were unable to overcome the incredible shooting from Wabash. Many other metrics indicate that Saturday’s competition could have been much closer; however, Wabash’s free throw percentage was more than 50 points higher than that of Wooster’s. This, combined with Wabash’s three-point shooting proficiency, handed the Little Giants a victory over Wooster in this tense conference matchup. 

Farewell to the graduating members of the Fighting Scots men’s basketball team: Hamilton Johnson, Khaylen Mahdi, Brandon Styers and student assistant Alec Williams. Thank you for dedicating your time to our college. Once a Fighting Scot, always a Fighting Scot.

Wooster will seek redemption in its final conference game at Wittenberg before the NCAC Conference Tournament tips off on Tuesday, Feb. 22.