West Chester’s women’s hockey team improved to 11-1 with a pair of convincing wins over Villanova and Slippery Rock last weekend.
The Rams’ offense was potent, as they netted nine goals in their shutout victory over Villanova, and six in their 6-2 victory over Slippery Rock.
Senior forward Becky Dobson’s production in the two games was unprecedented. She scored nine goals on the weekend and assisted on another two, bringing her point total for the season up to 60 points (35 goals, 15 assists). She has almost half of the team’s points this season.
“As usual Becky Dobson was a runaway train,” head coach Dave Japchen said. “She is one of the best all around players I have ever coached. She has an intensity factor that is off the charts, and is the most dominant player in the nation at her position without question.”
The Rams offense was actually mitigated against Villanova due to a rule that calls for a suspension of the head coach and captain of a team if they win by 10 points or more. West Chester was up 9-0 about halfway through the game and was basically forced to play keep away for the remainder of the contest.
West Chester also got goals from captain Amanda Vito (6), Kirsten Baron (13), Colleen Tweedy (3), Virlen Reyes (1) and Lindsay Howard (9). Aly Golia picked up her fifth shutout of the seaon.
Saturday’s game against Slippery Rock proved to be a tougher match, despite the final score heavily favoring the Rams.
Dobson opened scoring in the first period and that score held for the remainder of the first twenty minutes. But in the second, two quick Slippery Rock goals from Christy Pastucha and Nicole Cantine turned the tables. The second period was most certainly the battle period.
“We did not come out at all and skate for the first period or half of the second,” Japchen said. “We finally woke up half way through the second and began to skate. I’m really not sure why [we struggled], because we skated extremely hard this past week in practice and worked on a lot of fundamental work.”
It might have taken some hard work but things did pick up for the rams later in the second. Dobson scored twice and Brittany Dalziel contributed her fourth goal of the season as West Chester regained the lead, this time for good. Dobson added her final two goals of the game in the third period, giving her five of the six West Chester goals.
Vito, Dobson, Baron, Daria Carzo, Kristen Neugebauer and Danielle Speroff all contributed an assist apiece.
Golia put together another dazzling performance, saving 24 of 26 shots. She has allowed two goals or less in all but one of her starts this season.
“Aly Golia was tested and tested often but again stood tall as SRU has some forwards that have speed, set up in the zone well, and can fire the puck,” Japchen said.
Saturday’s game was also senior night, as well as the 2011-12 DVCHC Championship Banner raising ceremony. The seniors recognized for their careers here at West Chester were Dobson, Golia, Neugebauer, Dalziel and Vito.
West Chester remains No. 1 in the league and No. 2 in the nation, while California University of Pennsylvania-who handed WCU its only loss-remains No. 1 in the nation, but No. 2 in the league. The Rams will finish their regular season with one more game against Villanova on Feb. 9 before DVCHC playoffs start.
Kenny Ayres is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a journalism minor. He can be reached at KA739433@wcupa.edu.