WOOSTER, Ohio – Sophomore Sydney Schuster capped The College of Wooster field hockey team's five-game homestand in style with a hat trick to lead the Fighting Scots past archrival Wittenberg University on Sunday afternoon at John P. Papp Stadium.
Wooster (6-1, 2-1 North Coast Athletic Conference), struck first in the 10th minute. Sophomore Caitlyn O'Connor drove the ball into the circle, and Schuster flicked a shot over Wittenberg (2-4, 2-1 NCAC) 'keeper Allie Purvis that had just enough mustard to roll into the cage.
Both teams had several key scoring chances just before the midpoint of the opening half, including when Wittenberg's Megan Niswonger's one-timer from just inside the circle hit the post. Wooster's best looks during that stretch came just past the 15th minute when a pair of shots were turned aside by Purvis.
Wittenberg's Alex Reed tucked a loose ball into the cage in the 21st minute to tie the game at one.
That's where the score stood until Schuster was left alone with Purvis in front of the cage. A strong cross by senior Maeven Barry enabled Schuster to poke a back-handed flick past Purvis for the go-ahead goal in the 34th minute.
Schuster padded Wooster's lead with an insurance goal just over 14 minutes into the second half. On that play, senior Erika Womack fired a strong one-timer on target, and Schuster redirected it into the cage. Notable, the goal upped Schuster's NCAC lead to 10, and she's already equaled her rookie-year total.
Niswonger made up for her near-miss with just over 10 minutes to go in the game to cut Wooster's lead to one, but the Scots did a fine job keeping the Tigers at bay down the stretch when it came to scoring chances.
Wooster finished with a slight 19-17 edge in shots, while Wittenberg doubled up on penalty corners 6-3. Wooster 'keeper Katie Shideler and Purvis finished with eight saves each.
Next, Wooster has a two-game swing in Indiana, starting with an 11 a.m. contest at Earlham College (3-4, 0-3 NCAC) on Saturday, Sept. 22.