A week after coming away with back-to-back triple overtime victories over nationally ranked Dowling and Gannon University, the sixth-ranked West Chester University Golden Rams lacrosse team did it once again as they came from behind to defeat division opponents Shippensburg University and Bloomsburg University this week. In the process, West Chester clinched the regular-season divisional title.On April 12, the Golden Rams (14-0, 8-0 PSAC East) defeated the Shippensburg University Red Raiders 11-7 on the road. West Chester scored nine unanswered goals in the second half to come away with the victory.
It was a game of runs as the Golden Rams scored the first two goals of the game by sophomore attacker Erin Oczkowski and junior attacker Claire Grimwood. The Red Raiders answered five minutes after West Chester’s second goal scoring five consecutive goals. Jessica Schubach, Liz DiNunno, Katie Brewer, Roxanne Brown and Gayle Kuntzmann scored for Shippensburg as they led 5-2 at halftime.
The Golden Rams came out in the second with renewed spirit and energy. West Chester scored nine consecutive goals to regain the lead and they never looked back as they held the Red Raiders to only two goals in the second half.
Senior attacker Nicole Haines scored four goals, Grimwood scored two goals, Oczkowski scored one goal and senior attacker Gabrielle Stitz scored one goal during the run to lead the Golden Rams. Rachael Murray scored the final two goals of the game for Shippensburg, but it was not enough as West Chester weathered the early storm and came away with another victory.
Sophomore MacKenzie O’Keefe picked up the victory as she recorded seven saves in the contest.
On April 15, for the fourth consecutive game, the Golden Rams came from behind to defeat the Bloomsburg University Huskies 13-10 at home, a win which also clinched the division title for West Chester. The Golden Rams scored six unanswered goals in the second half after trailing for the first 48 minutes of the game.
Bloomsburg came out strong as they scored the first three goals of the game. Samantha King scored the first two goals and Sarah Bennett tallied the third goal for the Huskies. The Golden Rams cut the deficit to one as sophomore Alyssa Gallen and junior Shannon Hayes scored back-to-back goals as Lauren Glassey was able to assist on both goals.
Bloomsburg scored four of the next six goals to finish the half as Allie Kakareka (two goals), King and Kelsey Metzler scored to lead the Huskies to a 7-4 halftime lead.
In the second half, West Chester showed their strength. They continued their success as a second half team. Glassey, Haines and Gallen scored two goals each in the six goal eruption in a 14-minute time span for the Golden Rams.
Haines, Glassey and Gallen scored three goals apiece in the division clinching victory. O’Keefe picked up her ninth victory of the season as she made six saves in the win.
West Chester has two games remaining in the regular season before the PSAC postseason tournament begins. On Wednesday, the Golden Rams travel to East Stroudsburg to face the Warriors beginning at 4 p.m. On Saturday, West Chester ends the regular season on the road with a 7 p.m. matchup with the Millersville University Marauders.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.