In the past two weeks the West Chester women’s soccer team has extended their winning streak to four games and has only had one goal scored against.First-year goalkeeper Lyndsie Bernardini has showcased her talent in her debut as the team’s net minder and has proven to her coach why she deserves to stay in that position.
In West Chester’s first five games, Bernardini shut down her opponent four times. Last Wednesday at Kutztown, the opposition was able to get one goal past Bernardini, ending a 331 minute scoreless streak for the newcomer.
The Lady Rams have improved their season record to 5-1 and their conference record to 4-1, with their only loss being a 1-0 heartbreaker to Bloomsburg earlier in the month.
Coach Betty Ann Kempf Townsley is getting a lot of support from the new group of newcomers she brought in at the beginning of the season. In addition to Bernardini being strong in goal, first year Jen Hutchinson has added an offensive counterpart to the game. She scored the game winning goals in both the Millersville and the Mansfield wins.
The Rams most recent victory came in a come from behind win over Kutztown on Sept. 16. Kutztown came into the match ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region while West Chester was sitting at No. 5.
The Bears opened the scoring after firing a shot past Bernardini in the 36th minute. However, in the second half, the West Chester offense made up for the lack of opportunity they had in the first half and scored two goals within a two minute span.
The first came from first year player Melissa McKeary in the 66th minute, almost immediately followed by another by Sarah Oswald. This was Oswald’s second game winning goal of the season
West Chester finished up a streak of six PSAC conference games on Saturday in a match against East Stroudsburg, vaulting themselves to their fifth straight conference victory in a 2-0 shutout against the Warriors.
The first year goalkeeper kept up her stellar performance, as Bernardini recorded her fifth shutout on the season. She has let up only two goals in seven games so far this year.
The visiting East Stroudsburg team did not stand a chance, as West Chester controlled the ball for the majority of the game. The defense made it easy work for Bernardini, who only had to save seven shots on the day.
The Lady Rams first goal came off the foot of senior Heather Manorek late in the first half. After dominating the game but failing to convert, the Golden Rams finally found net in the 49th minute. Oswald broke free down the field before giving a perfect pass to Manorek in front of the net. Manorek was able to shoot the ball past the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms and put West Chester up 1-0. That goal was all WCU would need to down the Warriors in the contest.
Jenna Arnold added a goal of her own late in the second half to give West Chester a goal of insurance, and Bernardini did the rest.
With the win, No. 5 West Chester completed an improbable week, taking down two top four ranked opponents. Kutztown was the No. 1 team in the region, and East Stroudsburg was No. 4. Those numbers may very well change when the next poll numbers come out.
West Chester will take on Philadelphia University and Clarion next week before going through their conference lineup again the week after.
Amy Festa is a third-year student majoring in English with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.