For the West Chester women’s soccer team, winning often has become habitual, and they continued that trend this week. Opening up the conference slate of games, the Lady Rams hosted Millersville on Wednesday afternoon. They turned in a thrilling 1-0 victory of their PSAC East rivals. On what was a brutally hot day, the team scratched and clawed and ultimately got their one goal due to an error by the hands of the Marauders.
All-American sophomore Sarah Oswald put up a corner kick that ricocheted off Millersville goaltender Jamie Lancaster, off of a defender, then ultimately into the net.
West Chester out shot Millersville 13-5 for the game, with Oswald turning in six for her team.
Throughout the entire game, the defense was stout as Hilary Smart played all 90 minutes in goal and allowed nothing to get past her on the five Marauder attempts.
That game pushed West Chester to 2-0 on the year and 1-0 in the PSAC while dropping Millersville to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The second game of the week was another PSAC contest, this time on the road at Mansfield. The Mountaineers let in two goals by senior West Chester forward Brittany Yetter as that was the difference in the Lady Rams 2-0 victory on Saturday afternoon. Her first goal came on a free kick to put West Chester up early and scored on an assist from Oswald late in the second half to seal the deal.
Smart extended her overall scoreless streak in net to 270 minutes. Through three games this season, the team has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 5-0.
At the end of the week, West Chester found themselves riding high at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the PSAC East as they sit atop their division tied with Bloomsburg and one game ahead of Shippensburg.
With the loss, Mansfield fell to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the PSAC. They now sit alone in the cellar of the division, a half game behind West Chester’s Wednesday victim, Millersville who was idle on Saturday.
Coming up for West Chester this week is a home game against Kutztown on Tuesday and a trip to East Stroudsburg on Saturday. The game against Kutztown will be held down at the South Campus fields at 4:30 p.m. while the away game will begin at 3:30 p.m. at East Stroudsburg.
Both opponents are currently winless in the conference with only East Stroudsburg having won a game out of the PSAC while each has a tie in the conference.
Player of the Week – Who else but Hilary Smart? The senior goalkeeper has a running total of 270 minutes without allowing a goal this season as she has begun the year with three straight shutouts. Smart will look to continue that streak against the Kutztown University Golden Bears who sit at 0-2-1 on Tuesday. Then after that she gets her first look of the year against the 2-0-1 East Stroudsburg University Warriors on Saturday. By weeks end, Smart could potentially extend her streak to as many as 450 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
Mike Heiman is a fourth-year student majoring in elementary education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.