The West Chester Women’s soccer team has now finished 11 games of their regular season, and they have only been beaten once, which came at the hands of Bloomsburg earlier in the season.In those ten games, the Lady Rams only allowed two goals against, while they have scored 31 goals against their opponents. West Chester has yet to let in a goal while playing at home.
West Chester has continued to dominate their opponents throughout the season. They have outshot opposing teams 211-59 and have taken 72 corner kicks while only allowing the other teams to have 21.
While the statistics show a strong skew towards the offensive game of the Lady Rams, the real success story has been the presence of freshman Lyndsie Bernardini in net.
Bernardini, who hails from Elmer, New Jersey, came into training camp competing for the spot of starting goaltender with three other freshman girls. However, once Bernardini caught the attention of Coach Kempf Townsley, she found herself in a high pressure situation that she has since handled like a long time veteran.
The Rams last game was a rematch of the only defeat West Chester has been dealt this season. On Sept. 2, Bloomsburg beat West Chester by a one goal margin when the Rams traveled up to the Huskies home turf. This past Wednesday, the Rams got their revenge on their PSAC division rival and increased their record to 6-1-0 in the conference and 8-1-1 overall. The 2-0 win over Bloomsburg was also Lyndsie Bernardini’s seventh shutout of the season.
Sarah Oswald scored once and had an assist on Tara Malkiewicz’s first goal of the season in the win over Bloomsburg. The goal was Oswald’s fourth of the season while the assist brought her tally to eight for the season. She is the team point leader with 16.
Oswald’s performance for her team got her recognized by the PSAC East Division when she was honored as the athlete of the week in women’s soccer.
Other notable standouts for the Rams have been Heather Manorek, who leads the team in scoring with five goals. Jess Bennett, Cindi Nickles and Brittany Couper continue to anchor the defense for West Chester.
The Rams have a current unbeaten streak of eight games; however they tied Philadelphia University 0-0 after two overtimes.
The Lady Rams were able to push their unbeaten streak to nine games following a 3-0 victory over Mansfield University on Saturday.
Oswald had three assists in the victory. She now has a team-leading 19 points on the season.
Jessica Bennett scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute with a header off a pass from Oswald. In the 35th minute, Jen Hutchinson headed in a corner kick from Oswald to increase the West Chester lead to two.
The Lady Rams finished the scoring in the 48th minute when Oswald picked up her third assist when Tara Malkiewicz scored on another great corner.
Mansfield was only able to get off two shots in the contest as the West Chester defense continued their stingy play.
With the recorded shutout, it has been 503 minutes since Bernardini was last scored on. This beats her record of 331 minutes of shutout soccer, which she recorded earlier in the season. Bernardini also recorded seven shutouts already this season. The West Chester single season record is ten, which is held by last year’s goalie Hilary Smart as well as Stacie Bencivengo.
West Chester is now first in the standings for the PSAC East Division with 18 points. The second place team, Kutztown, only trails them slightly with 16 points. The Rams started out the season ranked 17th nationally in the NSCAA. However, with their pivotal wins earlier in the season, they currently sit at a No. 9 ranking.
West Chester’s next game is on Tuesday Oct. 6. They will be traveling to Shippensburg for what is sure to be a good match after the Lady Rams beat them in the final minute of their last meeting. The Rams do not have a home game until Oct. 20 when they host Kutztown on South Campus. They beat Kutztown 2-1 on Sept. 16 in a come from behind victory.
The Lady Rams are more than halfway through their season with only seven games remaining before the playoffs begin.
Amy Festa is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.