In an unfortunate turn of events, West Chester’s Division I field hockey team fell from third to fifth in the Atlantic 10 division standings, missing out on the playoffs by the slimmest of margins.Going into last Sunday, West Chester was guaranteed a playoff berth with a victory over Massachusetts, or a Temple loss to Richmond. After Temple pulled off an upset over Richmond, who had been unbeaten in the A-10 until then, the pressure was on the Lady Rams to win their game.
Unfortunately, West Chester was unable to knock off UMass, who had beaten the top 10-ranked Iowa squad earlier in the season. The Golden Rams fell 6-0.
Massachusetts jumped on West Chester, scoring seconds into the game. They would add one more goal in the first half before going crazy in the second, scattering four more goals.
The loss brought West Chester’s season to an abrupt end, as they had been in a playoff position until that point. There will be no postseason for the Lady Ram field hockey team this year.
On a brighter side of things, the season was promising for the women, as they saw shining moments and a glimmer of what the future might bring.
West Chester started the season with a 5-0 record, one of their best in team history. In that span they beat St. Francis, Rutgers, Lehigh University, Monmouth and Appalachian State. Two of those victories included exciting overtime wins.
They then started the really hard part of their schedule, as West Chester took on Division I opponents North Carolina and Penn State. After the teams 5-0 start to the season, they lost six in a row, being shut out in four of those games.
West Chester got back to their winning ways though, and just in time, as they began conference games with a match against La Salle, which they won 4-2. They would win their next A-10 game against St. Louis before losing their first conference game against Richmond, who won the regular season conference championship.
West Chester’s next game was their most exciting and exhilarating of the season. The Lady Rams took on long time conference rival Temple University, and won in an emotional 2-1 game. The win gave West Chester a 3-1 conference record. All they needed was one more victory to earn a postseason berth.
Unfortunately, they were unable to get the job done, falling to St. Joe’s and Massachusetts in the year’s final two conference games.
The year definitely showed promise for the future. First year player Melissa LeNoir had an incredible season for a rookie, leading the team in goals (10) and points (23). Her efforts were noticed, as she was voted to the first team all-league, as well as the league’s all-rookie team. The team will definitely turn to her in future seasons, as she can only get better from here.
Kelsi Ward was also awarded a spot on the second team all-league. She had two goals and six points in the season. Other players receiving recognition were Alisha Moran and Michelle Schrift, both earning a spot on the league’s all-rookie team with LeNoir. Moran was second on the team in scoring, with 13 points and five goals, two of which were game winners. Schrift also had a standout season, scoring two goals, one in her first game.
Alyssa Gallen was second on the team with goals scored (6) and points (13). Kristen Foore also had an impressive season, as she scored five goals. Brynn Adams had two goals on the season, both of which were game winners.
West Chester will be losing three talented seniors. Beth Wong has been a stronghold on the defensive end of the field since her start four years ago. Her presence will be greatly missed in the back.
Amanda Wynkoop is another departing senior. Although she spent most of her senior season sidelined with an ACL tear, she was there for the team to provide leadership and inspiration on the side.
Joelle Zarefoss will be hard to replace in goal. She has been West Chester’s anchor between the posts, and one of the best in country. Courney Wolff and Carley Buckwalter will duke it out in the off-season to see who takes over in net for the Lady Rams.
Although there is a lot of talent leaving, West Chester is in good shape for next year. They have a lot of fresh, seasoned talent with experience under their belt. The 2010 season may very well be the season they get that one last win that propels them into the postseason.
Ryan Frisco is a third-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.