Wooster Unable to Overcome Denison's Late First-Half Goal Spree

Lauren Abbott

First-year Katie Shideler turned in another strong effort in goal, but red-hot Denison University struck for a trio of goals just before halftime and took a 5-1 decision from the visiting College of Wooster field hockey team on Tuesday afternoon at Granville, Ohio.

Denison (10-3, 7-2 North Coast Athletic Conference), which hasn't lost since falling 1-0 to Wooster in a double-overtime thriller at John P. Papp Stadium back on Sept. 13, broke through for the game's first goal in the 29th minute when Alyssa Bahel gained separation from Wooster's defense and crossed the ball to Charlotte Happel, who knocked in her fifth goal of the season.

Prior to Happel's goal, the game had an eerie resemblance to the first meeting, particularly on Wooster's (8-5, 5-4 NCAC) defensive end. Shideler, who made 17 terrific saves during the Sept. 13 shutout, turned aside five shots prior to Happel's game-opening goal. Senior Emma Roderick had a big play as well on the back line with a defensive save just before the period's halfway point passed.

Denison's offensive firepower came through on the heels of Happel's goal. Jen Durbin quickly made it 2-0 when she slapped one in from five yards inside the circle just over a minute after Happel's goal. Then, three minutes later, Bahel snuck behind Wooster's back line to the corner of the cage and chipped in a cross from Ali Gakenheimer to make it 3-0 just before the half.

In the second half, Wooster cut its deficit to two when senior Lauren Abbott pushed in a loose ball sitting on the line in the 54th minute for her fourth goal of the season. With Abbott's goal, Wooster became the third team to score on Denison during its current eight-game winning streak.

Denison extended its lead back out to three in the 60th minute as Happel came through for her second goal of the contest, and Bahel joined her with a multi-goal game with under two minutes remaining.

For the game, Shideler finished with 12 saves, marking her sixth double-digit save outing of the season.

Wooster, which closed out a four-game road trip at Denison, returns home to take on Wittenberg University (9-3, 6-2 NCAC) at noon on Saturday.