The women’s ice hockey team played a home game rematch against Villanova University last Sunday, one day after shutting out the Wildcats by a score of 8-0. Sunday’s game was very similar to the previous night since it also resulted in an identical 8-0 shutout win for West Chester.
“Anytime your team comes off a big win like last night against Villanova, your team comes in with confidence. At times your team can come in a little over-confident and we made sure not to do that,” West Chester’s goaltender Aly Golia said. “We know what we needed to do which was get another win in order to make playoffs and have a hope for nationals.”
West Chester wasted no time in scoring goals and defeating Villanova in this home ice rematch. Forward Becky Dobson was fast on the breakaway as she scored the first goal of the game for West Chester after a little less than a minute of the first period had been played.
As the next few minutes of the period continued, West Chester spared Villanova no chances to score. Three minutes later, West Chester forward Karine Thibault scored the second goal assisted by teammates Virlen Reyes and Liz Petry. This gave West Chester an early lead of two goals before five minutes of play had occurred.
Like the night before, Dobson remained an ever-present force on the ice with a pair of goals in the middle of the period. Dobson scored assisted by Daria Carzo around the eight-minute mark and then again unassisted at the twelfth minute of the period, showing goal scoring that was eerily similar to the night before.
Villanova was given an opportunity to score late in the first period after a West Chester body checking minor, but the offending team killed the penalty and West Chester was able to keep their 4-0 lead as the game went into the second period.
Despite a few penalties in the second period, West Chester continued to remain on top. Dobson again was lighting up the scoreboard with her fourth goal of the game assisted by Carzo and Hall.
Both Carzo and Hall also showed their prowess in keeping the puck at Villanova’s net when Carzo scored the sixth West Chester goal late in the period, which was again assisted by Hall.
The game seemed like déjà vu for the two teams, as things were again looking like West Chester was going to get a shutout win with a 6-0 lead as they headed into the final period.
The home team widened the scoring gap even more when defenseman Amanda Vito scored three minutes into the third period.
Following this goal, which gave West Chester even more of a weighted lead, there were two back-to-back West Chester penalties. This gave the visiting Villanova some room to breathe and the potential to score.
Like the other power play chances that Villanova were given in this game, West Chester denied them since their defense was strong on the penalty kill in this game. West Chester goaltender Golia was also acting with quick reflexes by keeping any of these goals from going into the net behind her.
Halfway into the last period, West Chester forward Thibault scored the eighth goal of the game that was assisted by Vito and Dalziel. Despite a late penalty on Villanova, which gave West Chester another chance to score on the power play, they were unable to score after this point. They spent the last half of the period fighting hard to keep Villanova out of their zone and from scoring.
West Chester did not need any more goals as they ended the game with another shutout victory against Villanova with an identical 8-0 score.
“My defense played solid in front of me both games and the team played well as a unit. I’m glad we got two shutouts against Villanova because the team worked hard both games. Since the break, we’ve played solid team hockey that’s helped us get these wins and we need to continue our strong team play going into the playoffs,” Golia said.
West Chester has been neck and neck with California University of Pennsylvania for the third seed spot in the Ashley Moyer Memorial division. West Chester is currently 8-4-0-0 with 16 points in the standings and is poised for a spot in the championship rounds, which are set to take place from Feb. 17-19 in Hagerstown, Maryland.
West Chester University returns for their last game of the regular season and matches up against American University Feb. 12 for their final home game at Ice Line Arena.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.