On Oct. 6, the women’s hockey team played a home game rematch against the University of Delaware, and lost 2-1.
Learning from their loss the previous day, West Chester started the first period strong with their forechecking in the first period. Despite leading in shots on goal with 12 shots to eight and keeping play in Delaware’s zone, West Chester was unable to make a successful play in the first period.
The quiet first period, devoid of any penalties or power play opportunities, ended scoreless for both teams. West Chester still remained the stronger team in the period through their ability to get the puck down into Delaware’s ice in an attempt to push a puck past goaltender, Brie Scolaro.
West Chester’s unrelenting drive to score was present again in the second period of the game, as evident by their persistent assault of pucks on Delaware’s goal. Seconds into the period, Delaware defensemen Sarah Berkley was penalized for a minor two-minute crosschecking offense, which gave West Chester a solid opportunity to score.
West Chester was still unable to get a goal past goalie Scolaro, as Delaware’s unyielding defense was able to kill the penalty. West Chester was awarded another player advantage a few minutes later after Delaware forward Kim Blasnik was handed a two-minute minor tripping penalty. Despite the second player advantage, West Chester was still unable to slap a puck past net minder Scolaro.
Delaware’s offense was also unable to flick a puck through the pipes. West Chester’s Goaltender Aly Golia held her ground against her opponents with the help of West Chester’s firm defense. It was because of both teams strong defensive playing and inability to score against each other that the game remained scoreless after two periods of play.
The third and final period was where all of the intense action of the game began to occur. Since neither team scored yet, both of them were fired up to finally score a goal during the last period.
Delaware’s offense was able to get there first as they were awarded a power play when West Chester defenseman Virlen Reyes was sent to the penalty box for roughing. Delaware took the player advantage serious when defenseman Danielle Malysa scored the power play goal unassisted, gaining Delaware the late lead.
Letting go of this goal did not keep West Chester’s spirits down, as they were hot on Delaware’s trails. When Delaware defenseman Alyssa Welsh was whistled for a high sticking penalty, West Chester was finally able to make ample use of their player advantage with another power play. Defenseman Amanda Vito scored the power play goal assisted by forwards Becky Dobson and Kristen Neugebauer by sliding the puck into the corner of the net.
“Usually we try to create space for our forward Becky Dobson to take a slap shot from the left wing, but they were really cutting down her angle,” Vito said after the game. “That left me with an open shot from the point, and with traffic in front it was able to go in.”
After West Chester forced a tie with the possibility to go to overtime if the period ended without another goal, Delaware’s offense was quick to return play into West Chester’s defensive zone. West Chester was just as determined to score and it helped that they were awarded one last power play towards the end of the game. Despite the player advantage, it was Delaware that scored the game-winning goal. Malysa was able to score once again and pitch the puck past Golia in an unassisted short-handed goal.
With only a couple more minutes left in the game, West Chester was unable to get another puck past Scolaro, and the game ended in a second West Chester loss against University of Delaware (2-1).
Losing to the University of Delaware in back to back games pushes West Chester down to the third seed in their division as they continue to fight with Slippery Rock for the No. 2 spot. Both of the former teams have eight points, while University of Delaware remains in the lead with 14 points. In order for West Chester to beat another strong team like the University of Delaware’s team, they have a few defensive strategies to work on first.
“Some things we could improve on is our defensive zone coverage,” Vito said, “Our goalie keeps us in the game, but we need to be able to break out of the zone and have better coverage there. Also, we need to have better support going up the ice. Sometimes players wait for just one person to skate end to end; there needs to be more support to create better offensive options.”
West Chester is currently 4-3-0 and hoping to improve upon this in their next game against University of Maryland on Nov. 19. With a lot of time in between, there is hope that with some more practice and determination West Chester will start to bring home a few more wins.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.