Comeback Bid Falls Short, as Scots Fall at John Carroll, 12-10

Joe Rotarius
Joe Rotarius

UNIVERSITY HTS., Ohio – The College of Wooster scored three unanswered goals in the final 2:37, yet in the end, the Fighting Scots couldn't finish off a comeback effort and fell to John Carroll University 12-10 on Sunday afternoon at Don Shula Stadium.

Senior Joe Altieri and sophomore Shaun Peirce led the late rally. Altieri cut Wooster's (0-3) deficit to 12-8 at the 2:37 mark, and then assisted on a pair of Peirce scoring tallies down the stretch.

Sophomore Connor Mangan's role leading up to the middle score during the final three goals proved crucial, as the wing scooped up a groundball on the faceoff, and Wooster was in business from there with a man-up opportunity.

While Wooster had a strong close to the game, the Scots were dealt a blow at the beginning of the fourth period. That's when John Carroll (2-0) had a three-goal run of its own, with that stretch encompassing less than a minute.

Earlier in the game, junior Cullen Kuhn had the hot stick for the Scots in the second period. The middie was credited with a groundball when an errant pass from John Carroll's Charles Shaver skipped its way right to an uncontested Kuhn. The speedster was off to the races on the ensuing runout and quickly deposited his team-leading fourth goal into the net.

Kuhn doubled up in the scoring column with eight minutes to go before halftime. On that goal, Kuhn beat John Carroll 'keeper Jacob Betz with a shot into the lower left corner.

John Carroll's Brendan Whitty, who had five goals and three assists in the game, scored on a nifty behind the back shot for the Blue Streaks' fifth goal of the game. Whitty was the distributor on the Blue Streaks' next score, as Bennett Gorman pumped in his second tally of the season to give John Carroll a 6-3 halftime cushion.

First-year Joe Rotarius found the back of the net for the first time in the third period on a nice stop-and-pop shot, while Peirce pulled Wooster within two at 7-5 with 6:30 to go in that stanza.

In the fourth period, Kuhn capped off the hat trick with an impressive goal during a rare three-player advantage. The junior continued to lead the offense later in the stanza, when he found Drake Nickolaison left alone with John Carroll's 'keeper, and the rookie snuck one past Betz.

Wooster had two near misses in the second quarter that would've surely made the highlight reel. Kuhn and sophomore Wesley Wagner fired 50-plus yard shots toward the cage with Betz out of position on transitions, but both sailed wide.

Peirce joined Kuhn with a three-goal game, while Altieri ultimately led the way with five points.

Mangan's seven groundballs led the way while junior Caelan Doherty and Wagner had four caused turnovers each. Wagner finished with 17 saves on the afternoon.

Gorman and Skyler Blake scored three goals each, while Clayton Karam had a game-high eight groundballs. Betz tallied 15 saves.

John Carroll took charge in the faceoff department, winning 18 of 26, while the Blue Streaks also had slight edges in shots (42-41) and groundballs (40-33).

Wooster did win the turnover battle though with the Scots' 21 ranking 13 fewer than the Blue Streaks' tally for the game.

Next, Wooster's three-game swing against Ohio Athletic Conference schools wraps up with a 7 p.m. tilt at Capital University (2-1) on Wednesday.