On Oct. 15, the Golden Rams women’s soccer team hosted the Gannon Golden Knights in an early afternoon match.
The match started out with a Golden Rams’ foul, which allowed the Golden Knights an early chance to score. Rams’ keeper Shannon Fedyk was quick to make the first save of the game by knocking down the header shot from Gannon forward Michelle Genetin. The near goal forced the home team to step up their defensive tactics early on.
The first half was a struggle between the two teams to get a goal, even with the Golden Rams dominating in shots and corner kicks. They tried to keep the ball in the Golden Knights zone, as evident by the shots on goal that were saved by Knights’ keeper Maggie Brinkman.
The Golden Rams continued to try for a goal and only allowed their opponents the opportunity to score at the very beginning of the period.
While the Golden Rams out-shot the Golden Knights 3-1 in the first period, one of the reasons why they were unsuccessful in scoring was due to the amount of fouls taken.
Starting the match out with a foul didn’t bode well for the Golden Rams. As the first period ended, they had accumulated eight fouls as opposed to the Golden Knights’ six.
The home team was also guilty of three offside calls, which was another factor affecting their inability to setup a successful play.
The second half started off in a similar fashion with fouls, this time with the Golden Knights’. Despite these fouls, Knights’ forward Amanda Sharbaugh made back-to-back attempts at scoring, but Fedyk was there to counter these two attacks with saves.
Following these saves, more fouls were called on both teams, three for the Golden Rams and two for the Golden Knights. Even though the Golden Rams kept taking fouls, this did not stop their determination, as they began to push the ball further into the Golden Knights’ territory.
At the 72nd minute of play, WCU forward Marie D’Angelo scored the first goal of the game assisted by forward/midfielder Melissa McKeary.
“As soon as I scored that goal I felt relieved and extremely excited,” D’Angelo said. “But I knew that we could not stop playing.”
Not to be outdone by the home team, the Golden Knights were quick on the retaliation by scoring two minutes later, forcing the match into a 1-1 tie. Knights’ defenseman Sarah Deck was responsible for the goal assisted by forward Amanda Sharbaugh.
The rest of the second period consisted of a struggle between the Rams and the Knights to score a goal. Both teams continued to be prevented from scoring due to taking too many fouls.
Since the teams were taking fouls and neither of them managed to score again in the second half, the match was forced into its first overtime period.
Having learned from their mistakes, the Golden Rams pushed harder into the Golden Knights goal area with three consecutive shots within the first three minutes of the overtime period. One of these shots went wide, but Keeper Brinkman saved the other two attempts.
Both teams were starting to get frustrated and were so desperate for another goal that tensions between players on the field began to get heated. Knights defender Ashley Oluschak was issued a yellow card for her actions.
Although the will and determination to score was apparent in both teams, neither was able to score. This resulted in the match going into its second and final overtime period.
The second overtime period continued with the bad habit of fouls that was found throughout the match. Twenty-seven seconds into the match, Knights’ midfielder Maddie Buckman was issued a yellow card, further emphasizing the players’ frustration with not scoring. While the Golden Rams were also guilty of making a lot of fouls, the only players to receive yellow card warnings during the match were from the Golden Knights team.
While the Golden Rams were persistent to try for a second goal, they were unable to do so, due to some good saves from rival keeper Brinkman. The Golden Rams defense was equally as effective at keeping the Knights from scoring with a quick save by Keeper Fedyk occurring seconds before the time on the clock ticked away. The match resulted in a 1-1 overtime draw.
Despite having another match end in a tie, the Golden Rams still remain in good standing with 9-2-4 (6-2-4 PSAC). This match also indicated yet another PSCA match, as the Golden Rams continue their climb towards a spot to play in the conference championships quarterfinals.
Their cause was helped on Oct. 22 when WCU beat Shippensburg 1-0.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.