Senior Laura Papp's goal with 2:27 left before halftime tied the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship game at six, but host Denison University scored four times in the opening five minutes of the second half en route to a 13-10 win on Sunday afternoon at Deeds Field-Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio.
Wooster (16-2) now must wait and see if it will be chosen as one of the 10 Pool C (at-large) teams when the selections for the 2019 NCAA Div. III Championships are announced at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night.
Denison (15-4) overwhelmed Wooster at the start of the regular season meeting back on April 10, and likewise to Thursday's 16-10 semifinal win over Kenyon College, the Scots flipped the script for the game's onset. Papp emerged at the catalyst behind Wooster's game-opening 3-0 stretch, first with a pair of assists, and then with a score at the 25:10 mark.
The Big Red's Lindsey Karsh pushed Denison in front for the first time of the contest with 10:39 to go before halftime, and while Wooster didn't lead again, the Scots did stay neck-and-neck in the scoring column the rest of the half. Scores by sophomores Ashley Boersma and Caitlyn O'Connor tied the game at four and five, respectively, before Papp knotted up the score one final time.
|Senior Rose Taylor looks to push the ball upfield in Sunday's NCAC Tournament championship game.|
While the Scots were busy jumping out to a lead, and later focusing on pulling even in the opening 30 minutes, sophomore Katie Shideler was put to the test frequently. The Scots' 'keeper came through with 10 of her game-high 11 saves in the opening half.
Later, Wooster was within two at 11-9 with 12:27 left in the game after Papp continued to take charge offensively with her fourth goal of the contest.
In fact, Papp led all scorers – for both teams – on the day, and in doing so, her career goals count now stands at 115. Senior Emma Lawrence won a team-high five draw controls, while other stats to note included four groundballs, three draw controls, and two caused turnovers by senior Megan Healy, three groundballs and two caused turnovers by senior Megan Myers, and four draw controls and three caused turnovers by sophomore Miura Wiley.
Karsh scored three of Denison's 13 goals, while Jane Goodspeed matched Lawrence for the game-high in draw controls with five.
Denison finished with the edge in shots (31-27), groundballs (17-16) and draw controls (13-12), while the Scots did have two fewer turnovers.
Myers, Papp, senior Rose Taylor, and Wiley represented Wooster on the all-tournament team, while Goodspeed (MVP), Paris Healey, Maddy Heher, Hannah Magarian, and Kiely Noonan were Denison's selections.