For the first time this season, the Lady Rams soccer team (11-1-1) has been struggling, but only compared to their amazing success this season. Coming into the match on Saturday against Lock Haven, the ladies had only one blemish on their record: a tie the weekend before against Kutztown.
Heading into the game, West Chester had to respect fellow PSAC member Lock Haven who sported a 5-3-4 record but were hit hard early. Goals by Jamie Hunter and Haylea Meyers to open the game really showed the Golden Rams that they were in for a tough one. Showing their resilience as always, Ericka Schrock headed in a goal to cut the lead in half, 2-1, heading into halftime. Both Hunter and Brianna Hires scored for their respective teams in the second half but the Eagles wouldn’t allow the Rams to leave with a victory, defeating West Chester 3-2. This came as a major upset, with No. 2 West Chester dropping their first game of the season.
That was not the only tough game that the ladies faced in the last two weeks as a home game against Slippery Rock and an away one at Kutztown proved no easy tests. West Chester welcomed this past Tuesday the 8-4-1 Rockies, who put the pressure on the Rams early.
With no scoring in the first half, Slippery Rock’s Emer Flatley tallied the first score for the Rockies, but West Chester would not back down. A goal by one of their senior leaders, Melissa McKeary, gave West Chester hope with only 11 minutes left in the match. Strong play by the defense and goalkeeper Shannon Fedyk forced Slippery Rock into overtime, where the senior captains yet again came up huge. Jen Hutchinson came up big with a goal in the waning minutes of the first overtime.
With Fedyk stopping four of the five shots she faced, much of the credit must go to the defense that kept the stress of the goalie and allowed the goal scorers to create opportunities.
The only other imperfection on this otherwise fantastic record was paying a visit out to Kutztown two Saturdays ago. The Golden Bears entered the game with an impressive seven victories on the year and displayed why against West Chester playing them to a scoreless tie. The Golden Rams dominated throughout the contest, outshooting Kutztown by a staggering margin of 26-8. With all of their great play, they couldn’t seem to crack the Golden Bear’s goalkeeper, who finished with 14 saves of her own. Fedyk saved the game as she would turn away a penalty kick along with five other shots on target throughout the long match. With play like that, the Golden Rams should keep their heads high and push forward to their final four games of the season.
Next up for the Lady Rams is a test at East Stroudsburg on Tuesday with a start time set for 6:30 p.m. After that, the ladies will be home next Saturday for Homecoming where they will be hosting Bloomsburg for a 12:30 p.m. start time down at South Campus.
To finish off their season, the ladies will be up against both Clarion and Millersville before they enter the PSAC Quarterfinals. To determine where they will be seeded, the Lady Rams should finish up strong and head into playoffs with confidence in their abilities to beat any team.
Taylor Maren can be reached at TM741168@wcupa.edu.