Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

The men’s soccer team bounced back from a difficult loss to unbeaten Lock Haven with division wins against rivals Shippensburg and California (Pa.) to improve there record to 4-2-0 (3-1-0 PSAC.) The Rams are 3-1 in their current eight game stretch of division games.”It shows the character in your team, especially if you come off a loss and you have to go on road,” Coach Kendall Walkes said.

The first task of the week was a trip to Shippensburg to battle the Red Raiders (0-2-1.)

The Golden Rams spent the majority of the game in Raider territory. In total, the Golden Rams tallied seventeen shots at the goal but could not find the back of the net through first 80 minutes.

In the 83rd minute, first-year player Ricky Williamson tallied the game-winner to seal a 1-0 victory.

Williamson sent the ball into the back of the net following a failed clear by the Shippensburg defense.

“It was huge,” Williamson said about his first collegiate goal. “[Its a relief] just to know, I know how to play at this level,”

Williamson is not the first freshman to make a big impact for the Golden Rams this season. The Rams leading scorer thus far is Williamson’s fellow first-year player Zac Tassone with three goals.

“Everyone is being scouted in this league,” Walkes said. “What I ask of my teams in this league, that someone who is an unknown step up.”

The next task for the Rams was on the road again, this time out to California (Pa.) to take on a stingy Vulcans squad Saturday. The loss only of this season for California before this Saturday was at the hands of unbeaten Lock Haven.

Once again the Golden Rams were around the net for most of the game but could not come up with a go-ahead tally for most of the contest. The score was 0-0 score most of the way until the waning moments of the game.

However, it was not a first-year player to come up big this time, it was junior Mike Pryor scoring the game winning goal for a 1-0 victory.

Pryor had led the Rams in scoring in 2006 with eight goals but had been held without a goal through the first five games of this season. Pryor scored with just four minutes left in the game following a impressive move with his right foot and than deposited the ball in the back of the net.

“We all were just looking to get points. A win against a team like California is huge,” Pryor said following the game, the Rams second road victory of the week.

Defensively, Goalkeeper Justin Johnson went the distance for the Rams. Johnson saved eight shots in 90 minutes of play.

The Rams outshot the Vulcans 16-14.

For California, Goalkeeper Derek Yobbi saved 10 shots for the Vulcans but allowed the timely goal through the posts.

“Winning on the road in conference is extremely difficult,” Walkes added. “Every game makes or breaks one or the other’s season.”

The Rams return home this week for conference games against the Kutztown Golden Bears and Slippery Rock’s The Rock in two PSAC matchups. The Rams will look to continue their win streak.

Ken Schmidt is a West Chester University student. He can be reached at KS609536@wcupa.edu.

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