In their last game, the Golden Rams women’s hockey team took on the U.S. Naval Academy in a 4-5-overtime victory on Dec. 4.
After being defeated the previous day by California University of Pennsylvania, West Chester was back on the ice to host the US Naval Academy. The home team was heated up for a win, as forward Daria Carzo scored the first goal of the game, assisted by Becky Dobson and Lauren Stevens less than a minute after the puck had dropped.
Dobson was on top of the puck not only with her assist but also when she took the initiative and scored unassisted a few minutes later. Following her goal was a Naval Academy penalty on defenseman Jacqueline Drew, which granted West Chester another ample chance to score on their early 2-0 lead.
Despite West Chester’s solid scoring chance with this power play, The Naval Academy’s defense was on the penalty kill, as they were eager to not let West Chester get even more of an upper hand.
Dobson continued to dominate the action in the first few minutes of the game. However, after a little more than five minutes of play, she was whistled for a minor unsportsman-like conduct. After arguing with the officials she was given an additional ten-minute penalty for abuse of the officials, which also resulted in a game ejection.
This put a damper on West Chester’s offense. The Naval Academy took advantage of this when they scored their first goal of the game a minute later. Forward Christine Dullnig was responsible for this power play goal assisted by Katie Chambless and Abigail New.
Thirteen minutes into the period defenseman Nicole Ciccotelli scored the third West Chester goal assisted by Amanda Vito and Brittany Dalziel.
“The team was feeling pretty confident that we could win,” Vito said. “Our goalie Aly Golia was having a really solid game in net like usual. A couple players really stepped it up. Nicole Ciccotelli had her first goal of the season.”
Despite West Chester’s push to rule the scoreboard, the Naval Academy pushed back with another goal scored at the end of the first period by Nathalie Pauwels who was assisted by Ella Starr and Chambless.
With the second period score at 3-2 the Naval Academy tried to tighten the gap by out-shooting the host team by 17-6. West Chester’s defense and goaltender Golia stood their ground by blocking these shots from becoming goals.
The home team’s defensive work paid off, as they were able to score a fourth goal in the second period to widen the scoring gap. Vito scored the lone goal of the second period assisted by Carzo and Dalziel.
West Chester was also given a power play opportunity late in the period after a Naval Academy interference penalty, but the Naval Academy was not going to give up on their fight. The Naval Academy’s equally solid defensemen killed off this late penalty.
Defenseman Drew scored the Naval Academy’s third goal, assisted by teammates Samantha Leyva-Yelverton and Starr.
The Naval Academy dominated the period despite a few bad penalties that gave West Chester ample opportunities to score. West Chester was having a hard time scoring in the third and was unable to outdo them when Naval Academy forward New scored on a late power play to tie the game 4-4. This forced the heated game into an overtime period.
The two teams were neck and neck in the overtime period, but despite that the Naval Academy had out shot West Chester the entire game 42-34, West Chester prevailed at the very end of the overtime period with a final fifth goal scored by Vito unassisted.
“The whole game was back and forth though,” Vito said. “I think my goal in overtime was just when I had room to rush the puck up. I was able to get around the two defenders and just shot glove-side high. It was an important win that we needed to stay competitive in the standings.”
West Chester is currently the third seed in their division so it is important for the team to continue with their competitive edge and determination on the ice as the regular season wraps up. The team needs to work harder in their last three games so that they can clinch a spot in the DVCHC women’s championships rounds. West Chester returns to playing on Feb. 4 in an away game against Villanova University.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.