The playoffs are all about winning championships, and then defending them over and over again. Unfortunately, for the West Chester University Women’s soccer team, both of those scenarios were not to be here in 2008. Chasing their elusive third consecutive PSAC championship, the Lady Rams lost in the conference semi-finals to a new conference foe.However, the week did include a victory in the conference tournament’s first round which could seal a spot in the NCAA tournament for the big prize: a national championship.
The first game of the week in the semi-final round of the PSAC tournament pitted West Chester at home against the Kutztown Lady Golden Bears. West Chester dominated from start to finish as the team used a flurry of first half goals to help beat their division rival.
To start the scoring off, senior captain and defender Lauren Boyer shot a laser on a direct kick from 25 yards away past everyone, including Kutztown goal keeper Steph Addleman, only 14 minutes into the contest.
Only a couple minutes later, senior Brittany Yetter used a rocket kick to score on an assist from Brittany Couper giving the hosts and top seed a 2-0 lead.
Completing the West Chester barrage was sophomore Sarah Oswald, who gave West Chester a 3-0 lead mid way through the first half. That score would hold up throughout the remainder of the game, en route to a first-round victory for the Lady Rams.
The second game of the week was a road contest for the Lady Rams, as they traveled to western Pennsylvania to compete in the PSAC semi-finals. Unfortunately they ran into a hot Mercyhurst Lakers team, which knocked off second seeded Slippery Rock in their first round match up. In the 2-1 loss to the Lady Lakers, the Lady Rams only goal was scored by Yetter, her eighth goal of the season. That gave the purple and gold a 1-0 lead.
Mercyhurst answered right back as Jamie Schroter dialed up her conference leading 13th assist of the season on a pass to Sarah Powell. Powell’s goal was her PSAC leading 18th on the year. The opponent’s second goal was scored on a 23 yard free kick by Powell, her second of the game which resulted in her setting a career high for goals in a season with 19. That was all Powell and the Lady Lakers would need as that 2-1 score held up the rest of the way.
Mercyhurst went on to beat PSAC West fourth seed Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in the conference championship by the same 2-1 score. Powell once again scored both goals for the Lakers as she added to her career high total of 21 goals. IUP knocked off the top seed in the west, Gannon, in their semi-final match up.
Up Next – With a loss in the PSAC tournament, West Chester is probable to make the NCAA tournament but their opponent is still yet to be determined.
Player of the Week – Brittany Yetter notched her eighth goal of the season after pounding in two goals on the week. The first was in the win against Kutztown in the first round of the PSAC tournament. The second came in the conference semi-final loss to Mercyhurst. Yetter missed five games earlier in the year due to injury but bounced back strong to be an offensive force.
Playoff Watch – On November 10, the NCAA women’s soccer tournament field will be announced. Because the loss to Mercyhurst was only the second loss the purple and gold suffered all year, they are all but guaranteed a spot in the big dance. They currently hold the No. 1 overall seed in the region and should be ranked high enough to get a spot in the tournament.
Mike Heiman is a fourth-year student majoring in elementary education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.