After being predicted to finish sixth in US Lacrosse Magazine in its annual preseason polls, the Golden Rams lived up to the challenge, coming out victorious in three of their first four games of the season.Over spring break, the women’s Lacrosse team traveled to Salem, Virginia, where they made an impressive start to their season with a 23-0 victory over the West Virginia Wesleyan at Spartan Field, Tuesday, Mar. 8. The commanding triumph was the team’s first shutout since a 24-0 win against Slippery Rock in 2007.
Eleven different players knocked points onto the final score. Freshman Brittani Keys plus seniors Devon Lotkowski and Claire Grimwood all recorded hat tricks in the game.
Mackenzie O’Keefe started in goal for West Chester and played the first half, saving the only shot Slippery Rock put her way.
Kelsey Sward and Jess Henderson split the second half in the cage each for 15 minutes. Sward also saved the only shot she faced.
The following game was West Chester’s first loss of the season against No. 2 Limestone with a final score of 16-10 at Spartan Field Thursday, Mar. 10.
With their victory against the Rams behind them, the Saints have maintained a perfect 6-0 record for their season thus far.
The Saints were up 3-2 in the beginning of the first half, only to put in six unanswered tallies, putting them ahead 9-2 by halftime.
Junior Erin Oczkowski lead the scoring for the Rams, registering her first hat trick of the season. Claire Grimwood scored two goals and had two assists, while Devon Lotkowski scored twice and assisted on another.
Limestone’s Raquel Prager put up a game-high four goals, and Sarah Oor registered a hat trick for the Saints.
West Chester’s MacKenzie O’Keefe (1-1) was in the cage for the first half and was recorded with the loss. O’Keefe allowed nine goals and made four saves. Freshman Jess Henderson relieved O’Keefe at halftime and made two saves and allowed seven goals.
Limestone goalkeeper Rachelle McLellan (6-0) stayed in the cage for the entirety of the game, making nine saves overall.
After returning from their spring break road trip, the Golden Rams traveled to East Stroudsburg (2-3, 0-1) for their first PSAC tilt of the season and left with a 12-6 victory under their belts on Tuesday, Mar. 15.
Tori Dugan had her first hat trick of the season in a four-point game, while Jackie Hoover and Claire Grimwood each put up two goals for West Chester (2-1, 1-0 PSAC).
Hoover and Grimwood also came up big for the Golden Rams, as Grimwood picked up six ground balls and Hoover lead the team with seven ground balls.
Shannon Hayes opened up the scoring with her first goal of the season, followed by two consecutive goals from Dugan, giving the Golden Rams an early 3-0 lead.
When Molly O’Hara and Christine Bradley put up East Stroudsburg’s first goals of the game, Devon Lotkowski and Lauren Glassey responded with back-to-back goals.
MacKenzie O’Keefe (2-1) made two saves and allowed three goals in the first half. Jess Henderson relieved her in the second half and earned four saves and while allowing three goals.
Shannon Hayes and Jacki Patterson helped lead the Golden Rams to an 18-3 victory for their first home game of the season against Holy Family in a non-league match at Vonnie Gros Field on St. Patrick’s Day afternoon.
West Chester (3-1) had contributions from 11 different players, six of whom had multiple goal games. Holy Family (1-3) lost their third just four games into the season.
Patterson opened up shooting with the first goal of the game, only to rattle off another just 19 seconds later. She later registered a hat trick in the second half of the game.
After the Tigers put up their first two goals, the Rams scored 11 consecutive, unanswered goals giving them an 11-2 lead by halftime.
Holy Family’s Jennifer James scored twice and Stephanie McNesby finished off with the other.
The combination of Shannon Hayes seven point contribution to the Rams’ 18 point victory, and Lauren Glassey’s impressive behind-the-back goal set the tone of the game and showcased the Rams’ athleticism and talent.
Jackie Hoover, Tori Dugan, Nicole Pyle, Kelsey McGoldrick and Julia Walsh each posted two goals for the team.
McGoldrick’s final two goals finished up the game solidifying West Chester’s 18-3 hold over their contenders.
West Chester’s MacKenzie O’Keefe (3-1) registered three saves in the duration of the first half. Jess Henderson relieved her in the second making five saves.
Holy Family goalkeeper Melissa Jenkins made a remarkable 19 saves and was credited with the loss.
West Chester is back in action on Saturday with a PSAC match against Slippery Rock. Faceoff is at 1 p.m. at Vonnie Gros Field.
Brynn Dougherty is a third-year student at West Chester University. She can be reached at BD670913@wcupa.edu.