On the first official Ram Pride Day last Saturday afternoon, the West Chester women’s soccer team held a match against Bloomsburg University’s Lady Huskies. This particular match indicated the Golden Rams’ second PSAC contest game.
On a dreary afternoon match, the Golden Rams were amped for a win, especially with the help of their enthusiastic fans cheering them on every second of the match.
The offense started out strong by pushing the possession of the ball into Bloomsburg’s goal area early in the first half. Play continued to take place in the rival team’s goal area for the majority of the first half of the match. The Golden Rams’ offense pressed strong against the Huskies’ defense. There was a first attempt early in the match at the 42nd minute, but the Huskies’ defense was able to keep it out. The Golden Rams’ offense continued to get the ball to the Huskies’ net, with multiple shots on goal, out-shooting the opposing team.
The pressure from the Golden Rams was evident in the first half, and they were able to score a goal at the 26th minute of the match, but since the play started offsides, this forced the lone goal of the game to be disallowed.
The Golden Rams were persistent with their attempts to score first, and were constantly rushing to the goal. However, the Huskies’ defense was just as forceful by keeping any potential balls out of their goal. The Huskies’ goalkeeper, Frances Nicoletti, appeared to be acting like a brick wall to any balls that the Golden Rams shot at her. Despite this, the Golden Rams were not letting up and continued to push for a goal.
The tables seemed to turn on the home team, when the Huskies’ offense began to push back with a newly acquired aggression early in the second half of the match. The Huskies managed to score the first goal of the match, when forward, Samantha Fox, scored a goal that slipped past Golden Rams’ keeper, Shannon Fedyk, in the 34th minute of play. This first goal forced an early lead for the Huskies.
Despite being down 1-0, the Golden Rams’ offense was still on the attack. Similar to the first half of the match, the second half consisted of a lot of play in the Huskies goal area, especially after they scored. The Golden Rams continued to fight their way to the goal area, trying to get a goal before the period ended. Nicoletti was on top of her defense, by saving all of the shots on goal and keeping the home team from scoring.
This good defensive strategy from the Huskies did not stop the relentless offense of the Golden Rams. They continued with a strong show of forceful kicks to the net, and kept pushing to even the score.
This approach proved to be effective when the Golden Rams were finally able to get a ball past Nicoletti with less than two minutes left in the period. The determination and fire that fueled the Golden Rams could not be stopped, even though the Huskies were playing with a solid defensive tactic.
After the Golden Rams scored, they continued to fight for another goal despite the short amount of time left in the match. Due to the tie, the match was forced into its first overtime period. The overtime consisted of a ten-minute struggle for both teams to score another goal and end the fight for victory. There was equal play in both goal areas during the overtime period, which unfortunately resulted in unsuccessful attempts at scoring by both teams. Due to a scoreless overtime, the match was forced into a second over time period.
The Golden Rams were not giving up on winning this match, and they proved that with determination and opportunity they could win in the most unlikely of matches. The team took the second overtime period as a new slate, and pushed even harder to win the match. At the sixth minute of the second overtime, forward Kim Shoup broke the tie and pushed the game winning goal past keeper Nicoletti.
“It was a team effort,” Shoup said, “everyone gave it their all today, from midfielders to goalkeeper.”
The match concluded at 2-1 after a double overtime, with West Chester prevailing. The Golden Rams season has been off to a good start so far. The team’s last two games resulted in double overtime ties, and it appears that the Golden Rams are prepared to fight with all their might to be on top of the PSAC conference. They are currently 4-0-2 overall and 2-0-2 within the PSAC conference.
Deanna Vasso is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. She can be reached at DV670502@wcupa.edu.