The West Chester women’s soccer team (6-0) has continued their dominance as they remained perfect through a tough week of opponents. By keeping their record unblemished thus far, the ladies have soared up the NCAA rankings from No. 22 all the way up to No. 12. Also, in doing so, they have a share of the lead in the PSAC standings with Edinboro (5-1), but the season is still early. Preseason coaches’ poll favorite California University (3-1) is not far off either, so the Golden Rams had to keep up the good work to maintain their lead.
Last Saturday began their busy week by hosting Wheeling Jesuit down at South Campus. The girls would not be denied as they out-shot the Cardinals by a staggering 21-1 count. Senior Melissa McKeary struck first for the Rams late in the first half and they would never look back again. Second-half goals by Carly Yost and Sam Eddinger sealed the game as West Chester shut out the Cardinals by a 3-0 score. Goalkeeper Shannon Fedyk continued her fantastic play and the West Chester defense never let Wheeling Jesuit to keep the ball in their half of the field for long.
To make a significant impact come playoff time, the Golden Rams would need to maintain their level of execution in conference play. West Chester next welcomed in Mansfield on Friday, hoping for results similar to their first few contests. Like usual, the Lady Rams struck first with a goal in the sixth minute by Marie D’Angelo, who also contributed with two assists as West Chester handled Mansfield, 4-0. The second half displayed the balance of the team as three different girls scored within a 12-minute span. By using their talent, the ladies have been amazing in the second half of matches, outscoring their competition 12-0. Even corner kicks were controlled by the Rams as they were awarded five to just one for Mansfield.
Due up next for the Lady Rams was a date with one of their stiffest competitors, Edinboro, which stars PSAC Women’s Soccer Athlete of the Week Meghan Kelly. Kelly, only a sophomore, has helped her team have the greatest start Edinboro has ever recorded with 4-0-0 mark. Even with that, West Chester came into Saturday refusing to take no for an answer. Both teams realized from the get-go that scoring would be at a premium as each team sported great defenses entering this match. Cara Deola would finally break through with an 85th-minute goal past Kelly to continue their six-game unbeaten streak. Kelly would stop five of the six shots sent her way and West Chester’s Fedyk would also be credited with two saves of her own.
To understand why West Chester has been such a powerhouse, credit should be given to their coach, Betty Ann Kempf Townsley. Entering into her fifth season as the Golden Rams head coach, she held an impressive overall record of 67-7-10 and has been nationally ranked as high No. 2 two different times. With experience at Division I Seton Hall in the Big East Conference, her presence here has continued West Chester’s superior legacy in women’s soccer. Dealing with under-18 Olympic girls teams in Pennsylvania, she has proved time and time again that she has the knowledge and guidance to lead these girls to where they want to go.
West Chester now must travel out to Shippensburg to face the Raiders on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. start time. The Raiders have been up and down so far, so West Chester has a chance to continue to build their lead as they dive deeper into conference play. After Shippensburg, another major test arrives as the Lady Rams host California University on Sept. 22 at noon.
Taylor Maren can be reached at TM741168@wcupa.edu.