During the early part of this 2008 lacrosse season, the West Chester University Lady Rams stand with a 7-1 record, including an unblemished 6-0 mark in league play. West Chester is well on their way to finishing on top of the PSAC, which is where they were projected to finish at the beginning of the season.Returning nine players from a team that reached the NCAA Division II national championship game for the fourth consecutive year, the Lady Rams are flying high right now in the midst of a seven game winning streak.
Ranked #4 in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II Rankings, the Lady Rams lone loss came to #2 Limestone College, 9-8, in their first game of the season. Ever since that loss, no team has been able to slow West Chester down as they are outscoring their last seven opponents 147-35.
Junior attacker Jackie Baker was one of three West Chester athletes to receive Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Week. In victories over Lock Haven and Shippensburg last week, Baker scored 12 goals while recording two assists to lead the Lady Rams. Baker is leading the Lady Rams with 32 goals in the first seven games of the season.
Senior attacker Stephanie Kienle has been named one of 48 women’s lacrosse players who have been named to the 2008 Tewaaraton Award Watch List which was announced by the Tewaaraton Award Foundation in conjunction with the University Club of Washington D.C.
The Tewaaraton Trophy is the pre-eminent award that is given to the top male and female varsity collegiate lacrosse player in the United States. Kienle is one of five Division II players on the list. Entering play this week Kienle ranked 18th in the country in scoring.
Through the first seven games of this season, Kienle has scored 21 goals and dished out 27 assists to lead the Lady Rams with 48 points. Last year, while leading the Lady Rams to a 19-2 record, Kienle set an NCAA record with 140 points during the season.
Against sixth ranked Lock Haven on March 25, Baker tied a career high when she scored eight goals in a 20-8 victory. Kienle also registered ten points. This win marked the 28th consecutive victory for the Lady Rams against league opponents.
When it seemed like Lock Haven would mount a comeback, Baker scored consecutive goals within 18 seconds of each other to end any chance of a rally by Lock Haven.
On March 29, West Chester extended their winning streak by dismantling the Shippensburg University Red Raiders 22-2. Courtney Whiting scored five goals and added two assists to lead West Chester.
Baker continued her strong play as she added four goals, while Gabrielle Stitz and Claire Grimwood each scored three goals a piece.
Kienle, Gina DiDomenicis, Nicole Haines, Kim Norsoph, Jen Forney and Shannon Hayes each chipped in with goals to secure the victory.
On April 2, led by another eight goal performance by Baker, and 10 points by Kienle, West Chester defeated the Bloomsburg University lady Huskies 20-10.
Baker scored six first half goals to lead West Chester to an 11-3 lead at the half. The combination of Baker and Kienle scored 13 of West Chester’s 20 goals on the afternoon. Grimwood, Haines, DiDomenicis, Whiting and Hayes each contributed with goals in the victory.
On April 5, West Chester continued their winning ways by defeating the Indiana University of PA Lady Crimson Hawks 24-1.
Grimwood and Devon Lotkowski each scored three goals, while a total of 14 different Lady Rams scored in the win.
The Lady Rams have four games coming up this week. On Tuesday, April 7, they travel to rival East Stroudsburg to face the second place Lady Warriors.
On Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10, West Chester will host Gannon and winless Slippery Rock. On Sunday, April 12, the Lady Rams travel to face the Millersville University Lady Marauders in a PSAC divisional game.
LJ Harell is second-year student majoring in business. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.