Wooster Travels to Denison for NCAC Tournament Championship Game

Rose Taylor
Rose Taylor

NCAC Field Hockey Tournament Central

The College of Wooster (15-5, 10-4 North Coast Athletic Conference), seeded second, travels to top-seeded Denison University (17-2, 4-0 NCAC) for the championship game of the NCAC Tournament. The game is slated for a noon start on Saturday, Nov. 3. The winner of the game earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Div. III Field Hockey Championships. The championship field will be released some time after 11:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 4 on NCAA.com.

Media Coverage: Live stats and a live stream of Saturday's championship match will be available. Fans can also check the Wooster field hockey Twitter account (@Wooster_FH) for periodic updates during the game.

Ticket Information: Tickets for adults are $7, while youth and student tickets are $3. Students currently attending a NCAC institution are admitted free of charge with their student ID card.

Wooster NCAC Tournament History: Wooster is appearing in the NCAC Tournament for the first time since 2013, and overall, it's the Fighting Scots' 13th appearance in the four-team championship, which began in 2002. Wooster's won the tournament three times (2008, 2009, 2010) and has appeared in the championship game seven times overall, most recently in 2010. Wooster's 11-9 in the NCAC Tournament, including 9-2 at home. Wooster's 2-2 versus Kenyon, 3-1 against Denison, and 3-3 against Wittenberg in the NCAC Tournament.

Semifinal Recap: Sophomore Sydney Schuster (Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline) scored the game-winner in the 77th minute to send Wooster to its first NCAC Tournament championship game since 2010 with a 2-1 win over visiting Kenyon College on Wednesday afternoon at John P. Papp Stadium. Wooster had a 3-on-2 in transition on the game-winning goal. Sophomore Caitlyn O'Connor (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) crossed the ball to Schuster, who was left alone with Kenyon's 'keeper. The Scots' sophomore's shot fake pulled Suzy Deems out of position, and Schuster deposited her conference-leading 21st goal into the cage.

Last Meeting - Denison: For all but eight minutes, Wooster and Denison played to no advantage at all. Yet, it was within those eight minutes that Denison scored all three of its goals in a 3-0 win. Sophomore 'keeper Katie Shideler (Gibsonia, Pa./North Allegheny) performed admirably in the cage with nine saves.

Scots Finish Second in Conference Standings: Wooster's second-place finish in the conference is the program's best since 2010. That year, the Scots went 16-6, including a 10-2 mark in league play, won the league tournament, and earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Div. III Championships.

Dixon Era Starts with Record-Matching Performance: The Jill Dixon era of Wooster field hockey officially started on Sept. 1 when Wooster played at Wells College, and the rookie head coach's debut couldn't have gone much better. Wooster topped Wells 14-1 and in doing so, tied the NCAC record for most goals in a game, and it was one shy of matching the single-game program record set back in 1981. Wooster previously held the conference record for most goals in a game with 14 against Muskingum University during the 1985 season.

Wooster's Offense Among the Nation's Best: As of Oct. 29, Wooster's 17th nationally in goals per game (3.53), and the Scots have three student-athletes with double-digit goals this season, including Schuster, who leads the NCAC with 21. Schuster, Wooster's first 20-goal scorer since Clare Nelson-Johnson found the back of the cage 24 times in 2012, has five multi-goal games on the year, and is seventh on the program's single-season goals' list. O'Connor ranks fourth in the NCAC with 15 goals, while senior Erika Womack (Schwenksville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) rounds out those in double figures in goals.

Acing the Test: Shideler is well above the competition when it comes to save percentage this season. The Scots' second-year starting 'keeper enters the week ninth in Div. III with a .840 save percentage, and overall, Wooster's ninth at .844 (as of Oct. 29). Wooster's shutout four opponents this year, and has held the opposition to two or fewer goals in 18 of 20 contests.

Womack Tabbed for NFHCA Senior Game: Womack was among the 60 Div. III student-athletes selected for the Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Senior Game. Within the NCAC, just four student-athletes were selected to the roster, while a fifth was named an alternate. Womack will be Wooster's first representative at the Senior Game since Shelby Stone (2014).