The Golden Rams are stuck in a five-game losing streak after dropping two home games to Penn State on Sunday and Rider on Friday. The Penn State Nittany Lions outscored the Golden Rams at Vonnie Gros Field on Sunday afternoon, with a final score of 3-1.
Sophomore Kelsey Amy of PSU came up big for the Nittany Lions with one goal and two assists in the first half, putting Penn State ahead by 3-0. Amy has had four goals this past week.
In the first three minutes of the game, Penn State earned four penalty corners. A minute later, freshman midfielder Brittany Grzywacz sent the ball into the net with an assist from Amy.
In the tenth minute, Amy took the ball downfield for an unassisted goal. She has had a team-high of six goals this season.
Leading 2-0, PSU continued their aggressive first half with freshman Lauren Purvis’ third goal of the season, on another assist from Amy. The Lions kept the lead at 3-0 until halftime.
For the second half, WCU head coach Kathy Krannebitter switched Kelsie Ward and Michele Schrift in her diamond formation. The switch lessened the pressure from PSU offense, allowing the Golden Rams an opportunity to even the score.
The Golden Rams retaliated in the forty-sixth minute when Kate Zunski pushed a loose ball past Penn State goalkeeper, Ali Meves. Kayla Gluchowski was registered with the assist.
With the score within two, the Golden Rams had several opportunities to close the gap.
The Golden Rams dropped two chances to connect a pair of long balls up to the forwards that were likely to have resulted in breakaways up the middle.
Defensively, Brynn Adams made a critical stick save in the second half that kept the Nittany Lions within reach.
Goalkeeper Kristen Arnold began the second half of the game with four saves and three allowed goals. Gabby Panasiewicz took over in the second half, yielding no goals and was credited with eight saves.
Penn State goalkeeper Ayla Halus made four saves in the first half, giving her a 4-2 record. She was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week later in the week after a perfect performance in games against Lafayette, Temple and West Chester.
Ali Meves was in the cage for the second half allowing Zunski’s goal and no recorded saves.
Penn State is on a four-game winning streak, while West Chester had come up short in their last four games up to that point. Of their recent losses, two were to nationally ranked programs, while the remaining two were taken into overtime. Penn State is ranked 15 in the nation, and has a record of 5-2.
West Chester’s losing streak continued when they faced Rider at home on Friday afternoon, which is their fifth consecutive loss. West Chester has not had a win since their season-opening win streak when they took down Fairfield, Sacred Heart and Lehigh. Their last win was on September 3rd with a 3-0 shutout at Lehigh.
The visitors defeated West Chester with a score of 5-1, four of which were scored in the second half. The win improved the Broncs’ record to 5-3, and took West Chester to a 3-5 record.
Freshman Sandra Penas led the Broncs with two goals and one assist. Penas leads all freshmen in the league in scoring with ten goals and four assists for the season.
Other goal scorers for the visitors were Megan Pisani, Virginia Egusquiza and Jackie Adams.
Penas scored in the 25th minute off of an assist from sophomore Marlaine Schneider.
Ten seconds later, Kate Zunski tied the score with an unassisted goal. Zunski was once again the singular scorer, as this capped the scoring for the Golden Rams. Zunski leads the team in scoring with four goals on the season.
“I don’t really have a strategy,” Zunski said. “The past two games I’ve been getting the rebound from my teammates’ shots and putting it in.”
The Golden Rams held the Broncs 1-1 up until halftime.
Fourteen minutes into the second half, Penas took a pass from Equsquiza and sent in her 10th goal of the season, giving Rider a 2-1 lead.
With less than 20 minutes to go in the second half, junior Megan Pisani shot an unassisted goal to put the Broncs up by two. The goal was her seventh of the season.
With two minutes remaining, Jackie Adams took an assist from Pisani for her second goal of the season.
To top off an aggressive second half, Penas assisted Egusquiza to notch in her fourth goal of the season with 17 seconds remaining in the game.
“I feel proud that I’m scoring but I’m just happy when we win,” Penas said. “I could not be successful without my teammates.”
Rider out-shot West Chester 25-13 and held a 14-11 penalty corner advantage.
Panasiewicz guarded the cage through the first and second half with ten recorded saves and five goals.
Broncs goalkeeper Rebecca Lotito also stayed in for the whole game, giving up one goal with nine registered saves.
The Golden Rams will go head to head in another non-league match against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have a 2-7 record.
“I think Rutgers is going to be a tough team to beat,” Zunski said. “Every year they come out very competitive. Last year we beat them in overtime. I really think we can beat them again this year.”
The game will take place at home on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Brynn Dougherty is a third-year student at West Chester University. She can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.