With two games left on the regular season schedule, the Wittenberg field hockey team has not only rallied from a difficult start to the 2003 season, the Tigers have put themselves in a position to accomplish many of their preseason goals.
Last weekend, Wittenberg claimed its fifth and sixth straight wins as the Tigers victimized Kenyon on Saturday on the road and then NCAA Division II scholarship program Mercyhurst on Sunday in the friendly confines of Edwards-Maurer Field. Wittenberg's last loss in overtime at DePauw on Sept. 27, and the Tigers are a perfect 7-0 at home this season.
Against Kenyon, Wittenberg got a first-half goal from freshman Katy Barrett (Powell, Ohio/Watterson) and a second-half tally from senior Katie Babcock (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney). Junior Blair Ufer (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) assisted on both goals, while junior Carrie Happ (Pittsburgh, Pa./Vincentian) was also credited with an assist on the second-half score as the Tigers executed a penalty corner play.
Against Mercyhurst, junior goalkeeper Jen Meyer (Solon, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) came up big, turning away 14 shots and withstanding an onslaught of 31 shot attempts by the visitors. The Tiger offense was opportunistic, scoring three second-half goals by Babcock, Barrett and freshman Rachel Dunn (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) while attempting just 13 shots. Assists were credited to Ufer and freshman Jaimee McGhee (Westerville, Ohio/Thomas Worthington).
Barrett was recognized as NCAA Division III Rookie of the Week by the Web site, womensfieldhockey.com, on Oct. 20 for scoring three goals in two games, wins over Wooster and Kenyon. Barrett has been a key to Wittenberg's offensive resurgence this season as she leads the Tigers with nine goals and 20 total points. Wittenberg is 6-1 this season when Barrett scores.
Meyer was among five players listed on the "Honor Roll" on the Web site last week after she posted a pair of shutouts. A first-team All-NCAC, first-team all-region and third-team All-America selection in 2002, Meyer ranks third in the conference in saves percentage with a mark of .832 and she has recorded three shutouts on the season. Next up for the Tigers is a home game against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday during Homecoming Weekend and then a road game at Earlham on Tuesday, Oct. 28. If the Tigers can take care of business in those two games, they will tie for first place in NCAC regular season standings with Wooster, the preseason conference favorite, and possibly Oberlin, which has one game left Thursday against Kenyon.