When the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets Women’s Soccer team dropped six games in a row, including their first four OAC matchups, they faced the tough task of making up for it and getting into the OAC Tournament.
Over their last five games, the Yellow Jackets went undefeated, with a double-overtime draw to John Carroll University and snuck into the tournament as the fifth seed.
On the way, the Yellow Jackets outscored opponents 10-4, starting with a 4-1 victory at Muskingum. The Yellow Jackets then fought to a tie after two overtime periods against John Carroll.
After defeating Wilmington in a pivotal matchup for tournament seeding, BW came from behind to beat Mount Union with 20 seconds left in an overtime thriller.
During the important week of games, senior Goalkeeper Emma Bruno was named the OAC Player of the Week after making nine saves from the 10 shots she faced.
The pace of play that the Yellow Jackets showed over their last games impressed head coach Jim Wojtkun.
“I think our level of play was good, I think we dictated the rhythm of play,” Wojtkun said. “I think it’s hard to play teams that plays so direct, but we did a great job of staying defensively compact.
That victory also marked BW’s first win against Mount Union since 2015.
Then, on Seniors’ Night, BW clinched the post season, but again the Yellow Jackets had to fight from behind.
Marietta netted the opening goal, but the Yellow Jackets were able to score twice and hold Marietta scoreless for the last 78 minutes of the game. Wojtkun said he knew the team had been in win-or-go-home territory even though they were still in the regular season.
“We had told the players that basically we were already in the tournament,” Wojtkun said. “Every game is important to us and every game sets up as a chance to continue our season and we wanted to do that so we approached every game like a tournament game.”
When their official tournament game came around, the Yellow Jackets matched up against No. 4 John Carroll, less than two weeks after their first match.
This match marked BW’s first postseason matchup with John Carroll since 1992, when Baldwin Wallace entered the tournament as the regular season champion with a 9-0 OAC record.
But in the present, John Carroll was able to handle the matchup and shutout the Yellow Jackets en route to a 3-0 victory in their quarterfinal matchup, ending BW’s season.
John Carroll scored all three times in the first half and held the Yellow Jackets to just one shot on goal the entire match.
The Yellow Jackets may have ended their season in disappointing fashion, but had players competing for top five spots in OAC accolades, as Bruno had the fifth most saves in the OAC with 76.
In addition, senior Kenna Poptic tied for the second most saves in the OAC with 10.