WOOSTER, Ohio – Sophomore Sydney Schuster scored the game-winner in the 77th minute to send The College of Wooster field hockey team to its first North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship game since 2010 with a 2-1 overtime win over visiting Kenyon College on Wednesday afternoon at John P. Papp Stadium.
Wooster (15-5) will travel to top-seeded Denison University (17-2) on Saturday, Nov. 3 with game time slated for noon.
Wooster's team speed led to the game-winner as the Scots had a 3-on-2 in transition. Sophomore Caitlyn O'Connor crossed the ball to Schuster, who was left alone with Kenyon 'keeper Suzy Deems. The Scots' forward's shot fake pulled Deems out of position, and Schuster deposited her conference-leading 21st goal of the season into the cage.
Earlier in overtime, Kenyon had several big offensive chances, with the best one coming in the 76th minute. Sophomore Katie Shideler turned aside Tara Shetty's shot after the Ladies' sophomore earned a 1-on-1 opportunity.
Wooster senior Maeven Barry delivered the game's opening goal in the 21st minute. O'Connor passed out her first helper of the game with a cross that Barry redirected into the cage.
Kenyon's Paulina Mendez knotted the game at one in the 24th minute on a rebound.
At the start of the contest, Kenyon tested Wooster with a barrage of early shots, but Shideler was up to the task, and made a pair of spectacular saves in the fifth minute, and then again in the eighth minute when Shetty fired a pair of point-blank shots at the Scots' cage.
|Sophomore Sydney Schuster reacts to her game-winning goal in overtime of the NCAC Tournament semifinals.|
Wooster ramped up the offensive intensity at the second half's onset. Schuster had a pair of good looks deflect off Lady defenders on their way to the cage.
The Ladies nearly took a 2-1 lead with just over five minutes remaining when Olivia O'Connell had a 1-on-1 with Shideler, but Kenyon's sophomore's shot attempt went just wide of the right post.
Kenyon finished with a 13-8 edge in shots and a 7-4 advantage on penalty corners.
Shideler logged a game-high 10 saves, while Deems finished with one.
Wooster's now 11-9 all-time in the NCAC Tournament and 9-2 at home.
Noteworthy, Wooster went 3-0 against Kenyon this season, and coincidentally topped the Ladies three times during the 2010 season.