Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

The West Chester women’s field hockey team seems to be starting exactly where they left off at the end of last season: winning. The Rams defeated Lindenwood University by a score of 8-3 late Saturday afternoon, to improve their record to 2-0 to start the 2013 season. A 7-2 win at Adelphi University gave West Chester their first win on Friday in Garden City, NY.
The two-time defending national Champions have seemed in control in both games and obviously have not lost a step since last season.
Saturday’s game featured two goals from two seniors, Megan Callanan and Kelsi Lykens. Goals were also scored by sophmores Alexis Versak and Alayna Brown, junior Kelsey Cheek, and senior Lauren McGinley. Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Krause contributed a solid game in net once again for the Rams. In addition to Krause’s exceptional goalkeeping, a strong defensive effort led by seniors Kristina Scherrer and Lykens helped keep the high-powered offense from Lindenwood contained.
Throughout the first half, West Chester proved to be in command. There were not many shot attempts on the WCU goal and the Rams moved the ball with ease. Both of Callanan’s goals came within a five- minute span early in the game, while Cheek and McGinley also added their goals in the first half. Lindenwood had a few chances at first-half goals, but strong defense and goal-keeping from the Rams kept them off the scoreboard in the first 35 minutes.
As the second half ensued, Lindenwood appeared to have gained new life, while West Chester seemed a bit scrambled. A quick goal from Lindenwood senior Kristi O’Connor put LU on the board. WCU battled back with a goal from sophomore Alexis Versak, but Lindenwood again answered with two quick goals coming from O’Connor and freshman Carly Brengosz, leaving the score 5-3.
With about 22 minutes left in the second half, West Chester head coach Amy Cohen called a timeout to talk things over with her team. Lykens stated, “She just told us that we need to get more organized on defense. We just needed to take a deep breath and play the game that we know how to play. We know what we had to do, we just needed a little more fire.”
A little more fire is exactly what they added. Through the words of Cohen, Lykens and the Rams came from that timeout with an amped up energy level. Lykens dominated both offensively and defensively, winning 50/50 plays, battling for corners, and adding two quick goals. From that moment on, it seemed West Chester was completely in control of the game and playing at the regular national champion level they are used to.
One last goal came with just nine minutes left from sophmore Alayna Brown, capitalizing the late energy surge and sealing the win for the Golden Rams. Krause posted seven saves in net as West Chester prevailed on to their second win of the season.
Heading into a busy week with games against Shippensburg and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Rams will look to improve their record to 4-0. Shippensburg and IUP will be West Chester’s first two league games, adding some extra importance. According to Lykens, “We prepare for every team the same.”
As two-time defending national champions, some big expectations are rested on the shoulders of the Rams. Coming off a 20-2 2012 season with the rights to PSAC Champions and National Champions, the team expected nothing less. They welcome the pressure and believe they can make the same amazing run as last year once again. “We want to be just as successful as last year. We want to start by winning the PSAC championship and then move onto 3-peating,” stated Lykens. The Rams know they have many challenges ahead. It is never easy winning a championship, especially a national championship that a team has already won the past two years. With strong leadership, an extremely skilled team and coaching staff, and all the motivation and confidence in the world, West Chester will look to do what seems impossible: keep winning all the way to a “3-peat.”
AJ Arcaini is a second-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AA 788494@wcupa.edu 

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