The Golden Rams set the tone for the 2010 season with their success in the season opener last week. That success continued throughout the week, allowing them to enter the week with a 3-1 record, with one loss to Columbia this past weekend.West Chester swept their season-opening-weekend series against Fairfield and Sacred Heart, followed by one more win in their game against Lehigh. West Chester beat Sacred Heart 3-1 and shut out visiting Fairfield with a 3-0 victory at Vonnie Gros Field. Columbia took the win on Friday evening in double overtime with a score of 3-2.
On Friday, the Golden Rams stole the lead in the first half of their game against Fairfield when Nicole Fiorilla scored off of a push pass from Stef Pirri in the first seven minutes of the game. Later, Fiorilla deflected a shot from teammate Leah Angstadt off of a penalty corner, which soared past Fairfield goalkeeper Maddy Sposito. That goal kept West Chester on top 2-0 40 minutes into the game. Alisha Moran scored the final goal in the last minute of the game thanks to an assist by Kate Zunski.
Junior Karly Herb was credited with a defensive save when Fairfield’s Marit Westenberg fired a shot at the far post. Fairfield did not have a shot for the remaining 35 minutes of the game.
Five players made their premiere college start in the season opener, including freshman goalkeeper Kristen Arnold. She played the first half of the game and was credited with her first college win after making four saves. Sophomore Gabby Panasiewicz took over in the second half.
The Golden Rams’ success was proven not to be a fluke as they outperformed Sacred Heart on Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 victory.
West Chester scored its first goal 10 minutes into the first half. Sophomore Lauren Schott scored her first career goal with a shot from the penalty corner.
Alex Melillo of the Pioneers tied the game on a penalty stroke in the 50th minute.
Later in the game, Angstadt knocked down a Pioneer’s attempt to clear the area and returned the ball past Pioneer’s goalie Kim Stow to give the Golden Rams a 2-1 lead.
Three minutes later, Fiorilla scored her third goal of the weekend on a reverse chip.
Arnold made her second start of the year and played for the first half. Panasiewicz played the second half and made one save, which allowed her to pick up her first college win. Stow of Sacred Heart made ten saves in a losing effort.
In reflection of her performance in the season opening weekend, the Atlantic 10 Field Hockey conference named junior Fiorilla the player of the week for the first weekly release of the season. The forward scored the first two goals in West Chester’s season opener against Fairfield, marking her first multi-goal game in her college career. Later in the weekend, she added to the team’s 3-1 victory by scoring against Sacred Heart. She is leading the team in goals scored this season, and averages three points and four and a half shots per game.
In continuation of their undefeated season, the Golden Rams improved their stats to 3-0 after their away game versus Lehigh with their second shut out of their first three games. The Golden Rams shut out their opponents 3-0 thanks to three goal scorers including Molly Herlihy, Alyssa Gallen and Michele Schrift. Arnold had four saves in the first half of the game and Panasiewicz had one save in the second half.
The first goal was put in place by Molly Herlihy in the first three minutes of the game with an assist from Alisha Moran. Late in the first half, Alyssa Gallen doubled the lead off of an assist from Fiorilla. Michele Schrift put the game away with a final goal with 35 minutes to go in the second half, to put away the win for the Golden Rams.
This Friday, West Chester’s undefeated start came to an end as the Golden Rams fell to Columbia in double overtime 3-2. Columbia entered the game 2-0, and left with an undefeated 3-0 record.
The Golden Rams were down by one early in the game, but took the lead back with a pair of goals; however, the Lions evened up the score late in the second half.
Kate Zunski tipped in a shot from the top of the circle on a penalty corner taking the team to overtime. Angstadt took back the lead by burying a pass from Alisha Moran in the 52nd minute. Carson Christus of Columbia tied the game up three minutes later, and the score remained until the second overtime. Columbia would eventually go on to tally the game-winning goal.
Arnold was in goal for the first half and made three saves, letting in just one goal. Panasiewcz was in the goal for West Chester, and was credited with the loss with two saves, working from the second half into double overtime.
West Chester will go back to work on Sunday at noon versus North Carolina, in the third game of the fifth annual Vonnie Gross Classic.
Brynn Dougherty is a third-year student at West Chester University. She can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.