As West Chester’s Women’s Soccer team continues their push for the playoffs, the regular season schedule carried on late into the October chill. With a week that featured three games, two of them at home, West Chester went unbeaten en route to solidifying themselves as both a conference and national powerhouse.The first game of the week was at home against the Mansfield Mountaineers and ended in victorious fashion for the Lady Rams by a final score of 2-0. Rita Alton and national superstar Sarah Oswald provided the offensive punch for the team as they beat their division rivals. Alton scored late in the first half with what proved to be the winning goal for West Chester. Oswald’s goal came late in the second half to seal the win. Hilary Smart needed to make only two saves to preserve the shutout.
Game two of three during the week was more of the same winning ways for West Chester as they triumphed over Holy Family on the road, 2-1. For the game, the Lady Rams stout defenders scored the teams two goals. Senior captain Lauren Boyer scored an unassisted goal late in the first half to give her squad a 1-0 lead. Inside the final ten minutes of the contest, freshman Tara Malkiewicz scored after Holy Family came back to knot the game up at one. The win versus the out-of-conference opponent made West Chester two for two on the week against their opponents.
The final game of the week was back on the South Campus Soccer Field against East Stroudsburg, which was played to the tune of 1-1 tie. After East Stroudsburg struck first late in opening half to hold a 1-0 advantage, Oswald put the team on her shoulders and lifted the team to the tie as she scored with 16 minutes remaining in the game. The goal for Oswald was her team high 10th of the season and was assisted by senior Brittany Yetter. This was Yetter’s first game back after she had missed the previous five due to an injury.
At week’s end the Lady Rams saw their place atop the PSAC Eastern division safe with an 7-0-3 conference record and a record of 11-1-4 overall. Bloomsburg, whom the team beat once already this year back in late September is hot on their heels, with an 8-2 PSAC East record and a 13-3 record overall.
Up Next – Coming up this week for the Lady Rams is their final two regular season games. West Chester has a second round bout with second place Bloomsburg on Wednesday on the road. That game is slated for a prime time start beginning at 7:30 p.m. After that game, the purple and gold close out their regular season with a game at home against Shippensburg on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on the South Campus Soccer Field. That game will be followed by an opponent who is still to be determined for the first round of the PSAC playoffs.
Player of the Week – For yet another week, she was at it again. Sarah Oswald continues to dominate the field as she scored two more goals this week, giving her a team leading 10 on the year. Oswald will take her company into Bloomsburg for a PSAC East showdown and finish up the regular season at home against Shippensburg before preparing her troops for the playoffs.
Playoff Watch – The Lady Rams are locked into a playoff spot. Other teams that will join West Chester in the soccer postseason are Bloomsburg and Kutztown from the Eastern division and Mercyhurst from the Western division. In addition to having already beaten Bloomsburg once and having one more meeting with the Lady Huskies, the Lady Rams went 1-0-1 against Kutztown this year and won their only meeting with Mercyhurst, 3-2.
Mike Heiman is a fourth-year student majoring in elementary education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.