The women’s 2005 soccer season could be summed up in one word: Amazing.The offensive zone has done an amazing job attacking the opposing team’s defense, while WCU’s own defense has been amazing by helping each other to allow only five goals throughout the entire season, producing a record setting season for the Golden Rams.
Going into the semifinals last Friday, the Golden Rams were ranked fourth overall in the nation, with a shot at not only a conference championship, but also a regional and national championship as well. Although the semifinals for the conference championship did not go as well as they would have hoped, the Lady Golden Rams might still have a shot at a region and/or national championship, depending on if they earn a playoff berth or not.
The 2005 season startedout with a 900-mintue scoreless streak, a 20 game run without a loss, a top ranking in the NCAA Division II Northeast Region, and a school record of 17 victories with an overall record of 17-0-2. The Golden Rams were also 9-0 at home, without yielding a single goal heading into the semifinals. They are 10-0-1 in the Eastern Division and have captured the division title.
As of Oct. 25, the Golden Rams were ranked first in the NCAA Division II Northeast Region. The top four teams in this region earn a playoff berth, and the Golden Rams are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, but it’s not certain. The Golden Rams have a 6-0 overall record in the Northeast Division. West Chester defeated New Haven, No. 2 in the region, 3-0 on Sept. 24. On Oct. 26, WCU defeated No. 3 Bridgeport 4-0. West Chester beat No. 4 LIUC.
W. Post 1-0 on Oct. 9, while defeating No. 5 Adelphi 1-0 on Sept. 17. These four teams are from the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference. The sixth ranked team in the region as of Oct. 25 was Kutztown, who were second in the PSAC East, before defeating the Golden Rams in the semi-finals of the PSAC playoffs. The Golden Rams offense for the 2005 season has been lead by junior forward Julie Karcher. She has tallied 16 goals, three assists and 35 points for the season.
These stats put her fourth in WCU history for single-season performance and are her personal career best. She is leading the PSAC in goals, goals per game (.94), points, points per game (2.00), and game-winning goals(7). Karcher has also tallied 40 goals altogether during her three year campaign at WCU, ranking her second in all-time scoring at West Chester University with still one more year to go. She is also currently ranked third all-time in points with 88, needing just three more to tie second place of 91 points.
Freshman Brittany Yetter has also been receiving some spotlight since opposing defenses have now been paying special attention to Karcher to stop her attack. Yetter has tallied seven goals in her rookie season along with two assists to give her a grand total of 16-points thus far. Three of her goals have also been game-winning goals.
The WCU amazing defensive wall is headed by junior Casey McKinney, who has been the main reason why opponents receive very little opportunities to shoot at the net. McKinney has been relentless throughout the season, never seeming to tire throughout the duration of the game(s).
Freshman goal keep Hilary Smart has been the main blockade for the 2005 campaign, totaling seven shutouts, ranking her seventh all-time for shutouts, in her rookie season. She is leading Division II with a 0.089 goals against average, producing a 10-0-1 record. She is ranked eighth all-time at WCU on the career victory list.
Senior goal keep Heather Rinker produced a 6-0-1 record for the 2005 campaign with three shutouts. She is currently ranked third all-time for shutouts with nine. She is also ranked fourth all-time for a career record of 24-8-4, while she is ranked second for goals against average of .91.
Smart, Rinker, and freshman goal keeper Brittany Barnes have each actively participated in producing the Golden Rams initial 902:55 scoreless run.
Throughout the 2005 season, a mmber of the Lady Golden Rams was named to player of the week five times. Julie Karcher received this honor three times, while Brittany Yetter and Lauren Rutter each received this honor once.
If the Golden Rams earn a playoff berth, they will host the Northeast Regional final four on November 11 and 13.