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.