The Golden Rams women’s soccer team traveled to play No. 3 Slippery Rock last Tuesday for the first round of the PSAC quarterfinals. The 1-0 shutout resulted in a Golden Rams loss and an end to the team’s championship aspirations.
The Golden Rams had rounded out their regular season with a 5-1 win against the Millersville Marauders last Sunday afternoon, as they began to prepare for Tuesday’s quarterfinals match.
The Golden Rams started the attack with an early try at a goal two minutes into the match. Midfielder Jen Hutchinson put an attempt on goal, but Slippery Rock’s goalkeeper Lisa Rodgers was quick to stop this play. This gave Slippery Rock momentum to get the ball down to the Golden Rams territory, but the speedy Rams’ defenders blocked the shot, preventing their opponents from scoring.
However, the Rock continued to attack the Golden Rams’ goal area with an attempted header shot by forward Shelby Ward. Golden Rams keeper Shannon Fedyk was able to make a swift save.
The Rams tried to fight back offensively with yet another attempt on goal executed by defense/midfielder Brittany Bakeman at the 16th minute of play. However, Rodgers shut the Rams out with another save.
Following the save, the Rock began to fire off a few more shots that went too wide and high.
Determined to score, the Golden Rams got into gear and began their aggressive assault on the Rock’s defense with a series of several shots and corner kicks. Despite their resolve, none of these shots were successful, even though defenseman Tara Malkiewicz was close with a header shot at the goal area.
The Rock and the Golden Rams remained neck in neck for the entire first half. Both teams struggled to get in a goal due to the strong play by both goalkeepers. Both teams were unwavering in trying to bring the ball to their opponents’ goal line to gain the lead in the match. Neither team was successful in doing this despite that the Golden Rams out shot the Rock in the first half 6-5. When the first half ended the match remained at a scoreless standstill.
The Golden Rams were trying hard to get a goal when the second half of the match began. They attempted a few early shots, but these attempts were either blocked by the Rock’s defense or they went wide. The back and forth possession of the ball between the two teams continued throughout the match, in which both teams were pressing hard for a goal.
Both teams continued to struggle offensively until the 69th minute of the match when the Rock’s Kara Mullins scored the first goal for either team. Mullins’ goal was assisted by teammate Lucy Hannon who passed the ball to her up the middle of the field. Having gained possession of the ball, Mullins chipped it out of Fedyk’s reach and into the left corner of the goal.
The Golden Rams tried to retaliate immediately with another attempted shot on the goal that went wide.
For the rest of the match the Golden Rams were the team that was taking the most shots, as they were persistent not to lose the match.
They had another good chance to score three minutes before the time on the clock ran out and the match ended. Malkiewicz made one last attempt to tie the game with another attempted header shot, but this opportunity was ripped away from them when Rodgers made yet another save.
The Golden Rams were persistent to get a goal and even out did the Rock in shots by 11-9. Despite their will to score and their drive to push the ball into their opponent’s territory, this did not help the team in the long run, as the match ended in a 1-0 shutout win for Slippery Rock.
The Golden Rams’ loss means that they will not advance in the PSAC quarterfinals and that their season is most likely over. The Golden Rams end their season with a 12-2-4 overall season record and took sixth place in the NCAA Atlantic Region standings.
The Golden Rams still have the opportunity to play in the NCAA division II women’s soccer tournament if their overall season record is good enough for them to receive a bid. The top six teams in the region qualify for this, but the Golden Rams will have to wait until Nov. 7 to find out if they will take to the field once more this fall.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.