Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The West Chester men’s soccer team ended the regular season with a 12-3-2 record, and a 9-1-1 record in the PSAC, which was good for second place, behind Mercyhurst University, and good enough for a bye into the semi-finals of the PSAC postseason tournament.
However, the men received a sudden change of plans on Monday night when they were notified by the PSAC that they were guilty of a violation, which would cause them to forfeit their previous two PSAC games, which were against Slippery Rock, and California (Pa.). Those were games in which they won 2-1 and 2-0 respectively, and they had to convert those two wins into losses because of the violation. Because of those two violations, they dropped to fourth in the standings, taking away their bye and making them play a home game on Tuesday against Shippensburg.
The men had to play a game with less than 12 hours of preparation, a playoff quarterfinal game, nonetheless, in order to continue their season. The game was a barn burner, neither team budging an inch, as they went into halftime with the score 0-0. Shippensburg outplayed West Chester in the first half, having the advantages in shots (9-5) and in corners (4-1). Goalkeeper Ryan Shultz saved eight shots in the first period.
It was a very physical game as there were seven yellow cards given out, three in the first half, two to Shippensburg, and one to West Chester. Both teams came out in the second half ready to go, as again more of the same occurred, well-played, hard fought soccer, great defense and phenomenal goalkeeping. As Shultz made eight saves in the game, and Shippensburg goalkeeper, Clay Sale made ten. Each team had a team save as well.
As the time dwindled down in the second half, and neither team being able to cash in on their opportunities, they took the game to overtime. West Chester had a little momentum going into overtime, because they played the better second half, as they outshot the Red Raiders 10-6, and had more corners, 6-4.
Miguel Ross who had ten goals on the season was the closest one to scoring for the Golden Rams, as he had five shots, and four of them were on goal. And in the 94th minute he took a pass from Alex Caplan, missed a header, got it back and scored the game winning goal, to keep the Rams’ season alive and sent them into a semi-final match with No. 1 seed Mercyhurst.
West Chester knew that going into the game on Friday it was going to be a tough one. The Rams’ only official loss in the conference without the violation forfeits was at the hands of Mercyhurst 3-1 back in early September.
Mercyhurst was the front runner all season, and the Rams knew they were going to have to beat them to get to the final. West Chester was No. 20 in the country, however, Mercyhurst was No.13. Mercyhurst came out of the gates fast as in the 9th Danny Deakin put in his 13th goal of the season on a pass from Jack Watson and Ryan Lund to put them up 1-0. That was the score going into the second half.
Even though it was only 1-0 on the scoreboard Mercyhurst outplayed West Chester handily as they outshot them 12-2, and had a big advantage in corner kicks, 8-1. It was much of the same in the second half unfortunately, as even though West Chester got some more shots, and shots on goal, they could not cash in, and Mercyhurst was able to cash in twice. Dave Dougherty and Jack Watson scored later on in the second half, bringing the final score to 3-0.
West Chester has been outscored 6-1 in two meetings against Mercyhurst this season. Mercyhurst went on to the final against No. 23 Slippery Rock on Saturday, however Slippery Rock took the victory 3-2, and they now have an automatic bid into the NCAA’s.
So now the West Chester men will wait for the selection show on Monday to see if they will be granted a spot into NCAA’s. The men should have a good chance of being selected on Monday as they were No. 20 in the country before the loss, and they have a very strong schedule and record to go with it. But I guess we will just have to wait and see what the committee thinks on Monday.
Ryan Calpin is a second-year student majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at 

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