West Chester, PA- ‘Not their best’ was still good enough to remain undefeated in the 2006 season. Cloudy skies and a muddy field produced unfavorable playing conditions, but the number six ranked Lady Rams were steadfast and edged past the Bloomsburg Huskies 2-1 in Saturday’s league match-up. First year student Michele Kolent was the force to reckon with on the Golden Rams’ offense, pounding in the only two goals West Chester would see during the game. Kolent scored the first goal only 10:37 into the game and was unassisted. Her second goal, and the game winner, came only 14 minutes after the first one off of a feed from Jessie Heller. This would be the last time the Lady Rams would connect with the goal.
Julie Karcher, a prominent part of the Golden Rams’ forward line, was fighting hard and used her signature footwork to split the defense, although she came close on several occasions, she was unable to sneak the ball past the Huskies’ goal tender.
“It wasn’t our best today, but it was really nice to see a freshman score two goals for us,” said senior captain Casey McKinney on defense, and returning PSAC East player of the year.
West Chester lost a strong force in the offensive line when junior midfielder Rachel Stulb went down with 15 minutes left in the second half when a defensive player from Bloomsburg slid into her shin trying to block the attack. Stulb was taken off the field in an ambulance.
The Lady Rams’ defense, as always, was a strong presence on the field, allowing Bloomsburg only one shot on goal. Unfortunately, the Huskies were able to covert that one shot into a goal within the first five minutes of the second half. This was the first goal the Golden Rams allowed in a regular season game at home since October of 2004.
Often a game is dominated by the offense or by the defense, but not for the Lady Rams. The offense and the defense work together nicely to produce a strong presence on the field. During Saturday’s game, although formations and play looked messy, the Lady Rams were still able to produce that nice harmony.
“We have a solid crew on this team. We had a great season last year and we have a lot of returning players, so we’re just trying to build upon what we achieved last year and hopefully go farther,” said McKinney.
The Lady Rams are coming into the 2006 season off of a PSAC East Division title and an appearance in the Division II playoffs in the 2005 season.
A major change to the Golden Rams roster this year is new Head Coach Gerry Lucey. One may think this might be a difficult transition, but becoming accustomed to a new coach is something the Lady Rams are used to.
“We have new formations this year, different coaching style, different practices, but it’s hard for me to say if the transition has been hard or not. I’m a senior this year and this is my third coach since I’ve been at West Chester. It’s just something you get used to, and you just work as a team the best you can,” claimed McKinney.
The real challenge for the Lady Rams will be in the Sunday, Sept. 17 match-up against the number two team in the PSAC East, powerhouse Slippery Rock. West Chester is number one in the league, which should make for an interesting game Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the results of this game were not out in time to be printed in The Quad.
The Golden Rams will next host Kutztown University Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. with home field advantage.