Last Friday afternoon, the West Chester women’s soccer team traveled to Edinboro for a match against the Fighting Scots.
The Fighting Scots started out on the attack early in the first period with a shot on the West Chester goal that went wide. After this early attempt, the Golden Rams began to pick up the play. Forward Melissa McKeary and midfielder Maddie Mitchell had some early attempts on goal, but McKeary’s shot went wide and the Fighting Scots goalkeeper Megan Kelly made a save on Mitchell’s shot.
The rest of the first half consisted of a back and forth between the two teams. Both offenses fought for a goal, but back-to-back corner kicks and shots on goal either went too wide or too high. By half time, the match was at a scoreless draw, with both teams accumulating an equal amount of seven shots on goal.
Although the teams had an equal amount of shots on goal, the Fighting Scots’ keeper out-saved the Golden Rams’ keeper 4-3 in the first half.
Unlike the first half, the second half began with the Golden Rams going hard at the Fighting Scots’ defense with an early shot by midfielder Cara Deola. Despite the Golden Rams’ attempts, the Fighting Scots were determined to score the first goal of the match.
They did so in the 59th minute of play when Karisa Fernandez made it past the Golden Rams’ keeper, the assist going to teammate Jamie Warren.
The Golden Rams struggled for a goal of their own and had a hard time keeping the Fighting Scots out of their goal area. Shannon Fedyk made two more saves shortly after Edinboro scored once again.
In the 70th minute, Fighting Scots’ player Elizabeth Debo was able to slip the ball past Fedyk, with the assist again going to Warren.
The Fighting Scots were up by 2-0 with only 20 minutes left in the match for the Golden Rams to try to even the score.
The Golden Rams struggled to score with three more attempts on goal, and while the Fighting Scots defense was still strong, the offenders pushed for a third goal.
Fedyk was able to hold her defensive ground with three more successful saves before time ran out.
Fedyk out saved Kelly 8-6, but this was not enough to save the match as the Golden Rams experienced their first loss this season in an 0-2 shutout.
One of the reasons that the Fighting Scots were able to defeat the Golden Rams is due to the excessive amount of fouls that the Golden Rams accumulated during the match.
The Fighting Scots only amassed three fouls during the entire match, whereas the Golden Rams acquired nine total fouls. The majority of these fouls occurred within the second half.
It may have been the Golden Rams’ downfall.
The fouls allowed the Fighting Scots more opportunities to set up plays that would lead them to successful scoring attempts. With the Fighting Scots getting possession of the ball during the Golden Rams’ fouls, this eliminated the Golden Rams’ chances to score because they were focusing on their defensive play by trying to get the ball out of the West Chester goal area.
Although this match was the Golden Rams’ first loss of the season, they remain 4-1-3 (2-1-3 in the PSAC conference).
The team takes their season one match at a time and does not look too much to the future, so this one loss should not weigh heavy on them going into their next away match at Clarion.
“We take every game very seriously,” McKeary said, “and we know not to take any team lightly.”
While this game resulted in a Golden Rams loss, the team took this game as serious as all their previous games, giving their all. Fedyk’s save percentage and the whole team’s overall effort for a goal showed the fight that the rams put up during the match. In this particular match, however, the Golden Rams were out shot by the Fighting Scots and it ultimately led to their defeat.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.