Fighting Scots Seal Yeowomen’s 2–0 Defeat at Wooster

Sam Kreisberg

The Oberlin women’s soccer team traveled to Wooster, Ohio, in the wind and rain last Satur­day night to face The College of Wooster but failed to find the back of its opponent’s net, losing to the tune of 2–0. This moves the Yeowomen to 5–4–1 for the sea­son and 0–2 in league play.

The Yeowomen held the Fight­ing Scots scoreless for most of the first half, but eventually yielded with two seconds left to Wooster’s junior midfielder Liz Kantra, who capitalized on a powerful cross into the box and shot one past Oberlin first-year keeper Jordyn Morris.

Wooster scored again in the 68th minute off of another well-placed service, but this time it was junior forward Kennedy Payne on the receiving end. Payne hit a de­liberate header that passed just inside the right post, impossible for Morris to get a hand on. Mor­ris had five saves that day, bump­ing her season total up to 24.

The Yeowomen have been bat­tling injuries all season. Head Coach Dan Palmer believes this put Oberlin at a serious disad­vantage during the game, espe­cially in conjunction with the bad weather conditions.

“They were bigger and more athletic than us, and the wet weather and field conditions played to those strengths of theirs,” Palmer said. “We have so many players hurt; we’ve had 10 players miss at least two games. We’re having to tweak the lineup and ask people to take on differ­ent responsibilities. So that’s a challenge, but the team is doing as well as it can under the circum­stances and competing. That’s been our biggest challenge this year.”

Oberlin struggled offensively for all 90 minutes, only manag­ing to get off four shots all game, though three were on goal. On the other hand, Wooster was an offensive ma­chine, launching 21 shots at Oberlin’s net. However, Oberlin’s sturdy defense ensured that these offensive drives were largely mis­directed, as Wooster only found its target seven times.

Senior defender Sarah Willette attrib­uted this shot differential more to Oberlin’s errors than to Wooster’s defensive strength.

“I’d attribute this [shot differential] to us not being able to generate a lot of offensive opportunities and possess well,” Willette said. “Wooster’s back line is one of the best in the country right now, but we could have done a better job maintaining possession in their half of the field.”

Willette had two shots, both on goal, while sophomore and junior midfielders Josie Marshall and Rose Guardino each took one.

While Wooster controlled the majority of offensive play, their attack proved more reckless. For example, the Scots managed to get more corner kicks — they had four to the Yeowomen’s two — but their play also led to more offsides and fouls, netting six to Ober­lin’s one and 10 to Oberlin’s six, respectively.

Junior forward Taylor French chalked this up to Wooster’s aggression, but was happy with the way her team played in the first half.

“They are an aggressive team and have a lot of speed, which are two things that we struggle to defend,” said French. “I thought we came out in the first half with intensity and almost held them scoreless for the en­tire half, something that we’ve struggled to do this season. If we can continue to start games strong and prevent teams from going up early, I think we’ll see more success.”

This game marked the Yeowomen’s sec­ond conference game. Conference play al­ways brings a heightened sense of urgency and pressure, and while Oberlin has lost its first two games, the team is staying positive and driven as it looks to the future.

“Conference comes during a pretty tricky time with midterms and anticipation of fall break, but as a team we have really focused on coming to practice ready to train and maintain our focus,” senior defender Tricia Souza said. “Conference is challenging, but as a team we enjoying taking on challenges.”

Oberlin’s next game brings them back home to face Rochester College in a non-conference match set to kick off at 7 p.m. this Friday.