Men’s Soccer Falls in Close Contest with Westminster

Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer
The men’s soccer team is optimistic that their hard work willl eventually pay off on the scoreboard, and players are emphasizing the importance of finishing goals to win games. Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.

The fifth game of the men’s soccer season did not end in a victory, but the Fighting Scots remained resilient. The Scots, who entered the day looking to secure their first victory of the year, played a close game that seemed, at one moment, like it had the makings of a comeback. Unfortunately, the Scots fell to the Westminster Titans by a final score of 2-1 last Saturday afternoon. The game was scoreless throughout the first half thanks in large part to the work of junior goalkeeper Jason Prather ’24, who saved three shots in the first half, including a penalty kick, to keep the game knotted at 0-0.

The two teams traded blows in the second half, with Westminster drawing first blood on a goal by forward Tyler Caterino ’22 scored in the 67th minute. The Fighting Scots responded quickly to the deficit, with their lone goal scored by Elliot Miller ’26 just three minutes later. With 20 minutes of play remaining, Miller lined up at the top of the 18-yard box for a shot on goal. After scoring, he rushed to the corner of the field followed by his teammates as he leaped and punched the air in celebration. In a close game, the first-year starter had chosen a dramatic moment to score the first goal of his college career. Miller described the feeling as “pure joy” with his family in attendance, adding that, “it was special having them there and being able to pick them out in the stands after the goal.”

With just under 20 minutes left in a tied game, it seemed as though Wooster had a chance to secure their first win of the year, but Westminster would have the last laugh when Connor Schmidt ’25 secured the victory for the Titans with a goal in the 81st minute. Down by one with nine minutes to go, the Scots were not able to rally again to push the contest into overtime. Despite the tough loss, the attitude remained positive in the Scots’ locker room. As Prather put it, “we have dominated our games in the run of play. Now we need it on the scoreboard.” Miller described the effort on Saturday as “fantastic,” saying that, “everyone is putting 100% into each game …unfortunately, the results aren’t falling for us currently, but we are putting in the work at practice to get better as a team and prepare for Wednesday.”

To change the outcome in their future matches, the Scots will have to produce more offense. Wooster managed one goal on Saturday and has scored just four times all season. Overall, they have been outscored by their opponents 7-4. The players feel that their process is solid, but have not quite yet yielded the offense they need to finish off a win. Prather said he felt the team “played hard [and] “executed what we wanted in the broadest sense [but] lacked the finishing detail [we] really needed.” Miller added that the focus needs to be on “not only creating scoring opportunities but finishing them as well.”

Westminster’s rally means the Fighting Scots are still winless. The men’s soccer team has now dropped back-to-back games after losing to John Caroll last Thursday. After Saturday’s loss, Wooster’s record fell to (0-3-2). The season is still relatively young, and the mindset remains the same for the guys on the field. As Prather put it, “it’s a long season and, as much as we want that one back, we gotta keep pushing forward.” 

Wooster will have another chance in front of their home fans on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m.  against Defiance College. Come support the Scots as they play their Black and Gold Weekend match.

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