After winning their fourth PSAC title in the last five years, the West Chester women’s soccer team geared up for the NCAA playoffs.The Rams clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Division after their almost perfect season, giving them a first round bye. Their second round matchup is against Bloomsburg, who handed West Chester their only loss in the regular season. The second round game was played this past Sunday at noon at the south campus fields, the result of which didn’t make it into this week’s issue of The Quad.
Although this post-season seems like a déj vu from last year, they are hoping to not repeat their early exit from last year’s post-season. West Chester went into last year’s tournament with a first round bye and was upset by IUP in the second round.
West Chester has home field advantage working their way for their playoff game, but they will also rely on the offensive support from this year’s PSAC Player of the Year, Sarah Oswald.
Oswald broke the record for career assists (31) earlier this season. She is third all time at West Chester for career goals (57) and career points (145).
Oswald has been a member of the first team All-PSAC squad in each of her four years wearing a West Chester uniform. Joining her on the first team this year from West Chester are Jessica Bennett, Lyndsie Bernardini, Tara Malkiewicz and Cindi Nickles. Lara Bodenstab has also been named to the second team.
West Chester certainly has the depth on their team to place them as one of the favorites in the tournament. Aside from their starters, they also have the luxury of relying on their bench to come into the game and make huge plays for the Golden Rams.
Bloomsburg can go into the game with confidence too. They upset the Rams earlier in the season when they beat them 2-0. However, if West Chester keeps the momentum from the PSAC tournament, the Huskies will need to figure out a way to beat Bernardini, who had a couple incredible saves that kept the Rams’ title hopes alive.
The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the next round this upcoming weekend that will be played at the highest remaining seed’s home turf.
Amy Festa is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.