The West Chester University men’s soccer team finished its regular season on Thursday, beating a struggling Shepherd University by the score of 7-1. However, the game was very close throughout the first 60-plus minutes of the game.
West Chester was on an eight-game winning streak heading into the final regular season game as they tried to keep their momentum as they start to prepare for the postseason. Shepherd was 2-13-1 heading into the game, and West Chester was 11-3-2. This was a game where the men were supposed to take care of business fast, and it was really supposed to be a tune-up before the playoffs. Freshman Miguel Ross put the Golden Rams on the right track as he fired it into the lower left hand part of the net in the 20th minute to put the Rams up by one.
However, after that, both teams shut down each other’s offense and they went into the second half with the Rams up 1-0. West Chester then received a wake up call in the 62nd minute when Shepherd’s William Brown put in his first goal of the season on an assist from Ricky Johnson to tie the game up at one a piece. After that, West Chester turned the jets on, as just 47 seconds after Shepherd’s goal, Miguel Ross put in his second of the game, 10th of the season, off an assist from John Gabel. That put the Rams up 2-1, and less than a minute later, the Rams scored again, as Brian Schaefer scored his first goal of the season, off a nice pass from Connor Malarney.
As Shepherd started to unravel, the frustration got to Ricky Johnson, as he was given a red card and thrown out of the game for fighting with a Rams player. As West Chester was up 3-1, they were far from done. West Chester put in four more goals before the horn sounded to end the game.
Conor Malarney made it 4-1, on his 11th goal of the season in the 71st minute. The rest of the scoring was done by one Golden Ram, as Brett Beaumont added three goals before the end of the game. These were his second, third, and fourth goals of the season. His first one was off a long pass from Cameron Scott, but his final two goals were unassisted as he did most of the work.
Shepherd made a goalie change when the score was 6-1, however Beaumont was able to put in his third of the game off a free kick with eight minutes left in the game. So after a slow start, West Chester went on a tear to win their final game of the regular season, 7-1.
West Chester will be the number two seed heading into the playoffs. If Mercyhurst would have lost to Gannon, then the Rams would have been the no. 1 seed and they would have hosted the PSAC tournament. However, Mercyhurst beat Gannon 2-1 on Saturday, so they will be the no. 1 seed and West Chester will be the no. 2 seed. West Chester has earned a bye and will not be in action again until the PSAC semifinal on Nov. 8.
“Right now, I think we are playing well and have a great belief among our team. We have six days until we play in the semifinal so we will be spending our time trying to stay sharp and improving on a few areas. Any of the teams that make the PSAC tourney are good enough to win it, including us,” Benn said. West Chester ended the season with 12 wins which is the most since 2006. A new coach and team leadership are just a couple of the things that helped this team become one of the best in the country. “As of now we are coming off of an eight game win streak so we are feeling very confident with our play. We have also beaten the past two nationally ranked teams Slippery Rock and Millersville so that is another booster,” Schultz said.
The men’s soccer PSAC postseason tournament will be in Erie, Pa. They will play either be playing Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, Millersville, or Seton Hill. Against those four teams, West Chester is 4-0, beating each team once.
Ryan Calpin is a second-year student majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu.
 

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