The Golden Rams field hockey team started this season 5-0, their greatest start in over two decades. The last few weeks have been a rocky road for the team, as they reversed that record, losing five straight and watching their record take a dive from 1.000 to .500.Coming out of the Vonnie Gros Classic two weeks ago, West Chester traveled to Penn State to take on one of the top teams in the nation trying to break a two-game losing streak. The Lady Rams were unable to gain control in the game, as they fell to the Penn State Nittany Lions squad 5-0, their second scoreless game of the season after scoring 18 goals in the campaign’s first three games.
The Nittany Lions spread the scoring around, as five different players scored on West Chester’s Joelle Zarefoss. West Chester only managed one shot in the game and one penalty corner.
Last Friday, West Chester crossed the South Jersey line trying to break their three-game slide against Rider University. Once again they were unsuccessful, and for the second straight game, were shutout, 3-0.
Rider, who has a record of 8-0 after the victory over the Golden Rams, wasted no time getting on the board, as they scored their first goal 14 minutes into the first half. That goal was the first of three first half goals for the Broncs, which would be all they would need to down the Lady Rams for their fourth straight loss.
West Chester only recorded three shots in the match, compared to Rider University’s 23 shots. Zarefoss had a good showing, recording 12 saves in the game.
West Chester’s last game over the two week span was against Ursinus College, as they took on the Bears in the annual Eleanor Snell Cup. West Chester went into the match up with a 23-21-9 record all time against Ursinus College, and a 14-11-3 record when playing them for the Snell Cup. West Chester held a slim lead in both records, and after Sunday held an even slimmer margin in each record.
The Lady Rams fell in the 29th annual Eleanor Snell Cup by a score of 5-1. The loss was the fifth in a row for the Golden Rams field hockey team, after a stellar start to the season. Ursinus is a Division III team, but ranked No. 5 in the nation for NCAA Division III.
West Chester notched their first goal in three games against Ursinus, that coming off the stick of Alisha Moran. At the half, West Chester was down 3-1. They were unable to act on two more goals scored by Ursinus in the second half, leaving the final score 5-1.
Ursinus player Megan Yoder recorded a hat trick in the game. Zarefoss notched eight saves.
Losing five games in a row like this can be extremely demoralizing to a team, especially after the start that they had to the season. The Lady Rams are doing a great job dealing with it though and getting back on their feet.
“We are doing much better after a really hard but good week of practice,” student coach Cat Baskin said.
West Chester has a big game coming up Sunday, as they will be taking on non-league opponent Lock Haven. This will be West Chester’s final non-league game before starting with their A-10 conference schedule. Baskin thinks that the team has done what is needed to get back to their winning ways.
“We’ve done some rearranging so hopefully that’ll make us back on track,” she said. “It would definitely help our confidence to have a winning record, but we really just take one game at a time now.”
Taking one game at a time is the perfect philosophy for West Chester this season, especially with a Division I lineup like they have. There is not a single team that they can plan to walk in and take an easy win away with them.
The team will have to look to their rugged seniors Beth Wong, Joelle Zarefoss, and Amanda Wynkoop to round up the underclassmen and lead them into the postseason this year. These past ten games have been a warm up for the West Chester Division I field hockey team. The real season is about to begin.
Ryan Frisco is a third-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.