While the West Chester field hockey team has struggled lately, falling below .500 for the first time on the season, they have battled back and come on strong in A-10 Conference play, ending the week 2-0 in the division.On Friday, the Golden Rams hosted St. Louis in a crucial game to get their record back to .500. St. Louis has had a rough season, managing only one win so far, and 0-1 in the A-10. West Chester was determined to keep them down in the cellar.
Alisha Moran made quick work of the St. Louis defense as she scored the game’s first goal only a minute into the match. It was Moran’s fifth goal of the season.
St. Louis did not give up easily though, as they were determined to turn their season around. The southern team fought hard to stay in the game, allowing nothing the rest of the half. That changed quickly once the second half rolled around.
Kristen Foore added a second goal for West Chester six minutes into the half, and first year Michele Schrift added a goal of insurance later on in the half. Joelle Zarefoss completed a perfect game in goal to hold St. Louis scoreless and hand the Lady Rams the victory 3-0. This win was huge for WCU, because it means that they remain unbeaten in conference play. These are the games in the season that matter the most if West Chester wants to make the playoffs at the end of the year.
The Golden Rams first A-10 conference game of the season was last week when they traveled to La Salle. This was the first conference game for either team, and West Chester took the advantage with a 4-2 triumph over their rival.
This win was huge for the West Chester University Golden Rams team, as they had lost six games in a row after starting the season 5-0. First-year player out of Delaware Melissa LeNoir was the first to turn the zeros on the scoreboard, scoring her eighth goal of her rookie season in the tenth minute.
Kristen Foore was the second Lady Ram to post a number, as she added her fourth of the year late in the first half. La Salle shot one past Zarefoss just before the buzzer to cut the lead to 2-1 going into halftime.
Leah Angstadt notched West Chester’s third goal of the game three minutes into the second half on a penalty stroke. Four minutes later, LeNoir netted her team leading ninth goal of the season to cap the Golden Rams scoring at four on the day. La Salle would go on to score one more goal in the half, but it was not enough as West Chester grabbed their sixth win of the year. Zarefoss made eight saves for the Golden Rams, picking up her sixth victory on the year in another great performance in goal.
In addition to those two A-10 conference games, West Chester also played two non-division games, one against Lock Haven University and the other against Lafayette. Unfortunately, the Golden Ram field hockey team fell in both contests.
West Chester’s first of those two losses came at the hands of the Lock Haven Bald Eagles. The Vonnie Gros visitors shut out the hosts 4-0 in a disappointing showing for West Chester, as their record dropped below winning for the first time on the season.
The game stayed a 0-0 tie until Lock Haven scored a goal 22 minutes into the match. That started an onslaught of Bald Eagle scoring, as West Chester went into the half down 3-0. One more goal added by Lock Haven in the second half sealed the deal as they walked off the field with a 4-0 win.
West Chester only recorded five shots in the game.
Over fall break last weekend, West Chester once again lost in front of their home crowd, as they fell to Lafayette College 3-0.
Lafayette scored two goals in the first half off of penalty strokes, as the Lady Rams only managed one unsuccessful shot. The Lafayette Leopards added one more goal in the second half off a well-placed reverse flick.
West Chester had many chances to score towards the end of the game, getting off 14 shots in the second half alone, but were unable to skirt the ball past the goalie as she shut out the hosting Rams.
Melissa LeNoir continued her stellar rookie season last week, and was once again recognized for her efforts. In the first week of play, LeNoir was named the A-10 Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week after a stellar performance, scoring seven points in her first collegiate game. After two goals in last Friday’s game against LaSalle, she was once again named the A-10 Rookie of the Week.
LeNoir is impressing in her first year. She is currently leading the team in goals (9) and overall scoring (21). In addition, she is also second in the conference in goals scored, points, and game winning goals, of which she has three.
Although LeNoir is a rookie, she is a proven leader on the team, and will be one of the scorers up front the team counts on to take them into this year’s postseason.
Cat Baskin said that the team is really excited about playing conference games right now and are even more excited about their chances to make it to the championship.
West Chester continues their A-10 conference schedule Sunday, Oct. 17 when they travel to Richmond.
Ryan Frisco is a third-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.