After coming off a great season where their only loss was to the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, the women’s soccer team is back in action and ready for some wins.
Following a two game shutout-winning streak, the Golden Rams hoped to continue their streak when they took to the home field against Lock Haven’s Lady Eagles in a cloudy afternoon match last Wednesday. Both the men and women soccer teams held matches, in what the athletic department is referring to as “Soccer Doubleheader Wednesday.” These particular matches indicated the start of The Pennsylvania State Athletic conference contests.
Due to heavy rains the Lady Rams’ match took place inside Farrell Stadium, rather than on the grass field of the South Campus Soccer Complex where the team usually plays. Despite the location change, they were ready to play another good game of soccer.
Since the season started, the Golden Rams have been playing an equal level of offense and defense. Last Wednesday’s game embodied this by the offensive play affecting the success of the defense.
The first half began with the Golden Rams fighting for an early lead with a shot on goal that ultimately went wide by midfielder Maddie Mitchell. This shot was followed by another attempt seven minutes later by forward/midfielder Marie D’Angelo that was saved by Eagles’ keeper Hayley Zinn. The unsuccessful shot was followed by a corner kick by midfielder Rachel Miller seconds later. The Golden Rams continued to attempt many shots and corner kicks on Eagles’ defense througout the first half. The Golden Rams’ defense was adamant about keeping the ball possession away from the Eagles by keeping the ball in the Eagles’ goal area in hopes to lead the match.
By half time, the score remained a scoreless draw with West Chester beating out Lock Haven in shots on goal (7-1) and corner kicks (5-1). Lock Haven’s defense, however, was shutting down any shots on goal and they led the game in saves at 4-1.
The start of the second half seemed to mimic the first, as the Golden Rams began the half with an aggressive offensive series of shooting at the net. This technique paid off in the 52nd minute when forward Melissa McKeary scored the first goal of the game, which was assisted by midfielder Jen Hutchinson. Hutchinson sent a 40 yard pass to McKeary, allowing her to take on goalkeeper Zinn by herself. The goal gained a lead for the home team, making the score 1-0, West Chester.
“Throughout the first and second half the entire team worked really hard to create opportunities,” McKeary said. “And it felt great being able to capitalize on a through ball that Jen Hutchinson fed me.”
The remaining time in the match consisted of a struggle between the two teams, which resulted in a lot of substitutions on the field and a handful of fouls. The action really started to pick back up again in th 76th minute when the Golden Rams began to onslaught the Eagles’ defense with more shots and corner kicks. The Eagles defense was just as strong, acting as a wall against the Golden Rams’ aggressive offense by knocking out balls, resulting in keeper Zinn making eleven total saves by the end of the match.
The Golden Rams’ offense was responsible for most of the play in the match by scoring the lone goal of the game. If it was not for the aggressive offense trying to keep the ball in the Eagles’ goal area, there might have been some goals scored by the visiting team. The defense and offense were able to work in sync in this game. The Golden Rams’ keeper Shannon Fedyk recorded four saves in the game, indicating that the team is strong on both sides of the field.
Mckeary’s goal led the Golden Rams to their third consecutive shutout win this season. The team is now currently undefeated (3-0) early in the season, and it does not look like anything is stopping them.
The West Chester team is also picked as favorite for the PSCA championships this year according to a pre-season coaches poll.
If the first three matches are any indication of what the season has in store for them, it there is a good chance that the Golden Rams will be back fighting for their stolen championship title.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.