The West Chester Golden Rams field hockey team traveled to Millersville Saturday afternoon and defeated the hosts by a score of 2-0. Millersville was looking to clinch its first PSAC postseason bid since 1993, but some early scoring and ferocious defense throughout the whole game kept the Marauders from winning.
West Chester converted within the first seven minutes of the game when Alexis Versak deflected Abbey Hordendorf’s shot right by the goalkeeper.
With just under four minutes remaining in the half, a diving Kayla Gluchowski was able to redirect Michele Schrift’s shot past the Millersville goalie, extending the Ram’s lead to 2-0.
Millersville maintained possession for a majority of the second half, but were unable to penetrate the West Chester’s overwhelming defense.
Millersville only managed three shots throughout the game but none of them found their way to West Chester goalie Kristin Arnold. Compared to the Marauders three shots, West Chester piled up 15 of their own, with six of them on net.
This victory improves the No. 2 Golden Rams to an impressive 12-2 overall record and 7-1 in league play, giving them sole possession of first place in the PSAC East.
Earlier in the week, the Rams battled in back-to-back overtime games. Bloomsburg traveled to West Chester on Oct. 6 to face the Golden Rams, upending the Rams in overtime 3-2.
West Chester started off the scoring early when Kelsi Lykens was able to convert on a pass from Stef Pirri. The Huskies quickly responded and tied the game only three minutes later off a penalty corner.
Schrift scored her team leading 13th goal of the season to give the lead back to the Rams, but once again, Bloomsburg tied it 2-2 off an own goal.
Overtime provided some fireworks, with both team’s goalies denying fast breaks from their opponents. However, in the final 15 seconds of the overtime period, the Huskies were able to convert on a 2-on-1 situation, giving the Huskies the 3-2 victory.
Losing to Bloomsburg snapped West Chester’s nine game winning streak.
“We did our best out there but we just couldn’t finish today. Although this loss is upsetting, we are ready to work toward our goal with clear eyes,” Lykens said.
Clear eyes are exactly what the Rams had when they traveled to LIU-Post for another PSAC matchup.
It wasn’t easy, but ask any athlete and they will tell you nothing in the PSAC comes easy.
For the first time this season, the game remained tied at zero for all 70 minutes. Despite the Rams firing 22 shots and LIU having 15 of their own, only one was able to find the back of the net and that occurred in the 80th minute of the game. Schrift was able to finally convert and give the Rams a much needed and deserved victory.
West Chester keeper Arnold recorded nine saves and her sixth shut out of the season, a keystone in the Ram’s stifling defense.
The win was the second time West Chester has defeated LIU this season, and gave the Ram’s sole possession of first place in the eastern division.
Coach Cohen was proud of the way the girls responded to getting beat only days before their second overtime game in a row.
“The loss showed us what we needed to do better and it showed us where we were weak. We ended up moving players around and found something that has been working for us right now,” Cohen said.
“Our team works extremely hard day in and day out and we have competitive practices everyday. Our non-starters have been pushing our starting group which makes outside competition at times seem a bit easier. We are fortunate to have a lot of talent, we are 23 strong.”
West Chester has three games remaining before playoffs and will face off with Ursinus, East Stroudsburg, and Kutztown this week.
Timothy Mulqueen is a third-year student majoring in marketing. He can be reached at TM734386@wcupa.edu.