Twenty wins later, and the West Chester University women’s soccer team haven’t missed a step.But one gigantic step was taken on Sunday after the Golden Rams captured the Northeast Region Championship against New Haven, 3-0, and will move on to travel to New England on Nov. 19 or 20, where they’ll have a chance to partake in the Division II women’s soccer tournament in Wichtia Falls, TX.
Kalyn Miller scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Golden Rams midway through the first half. Miller’s headball shot found the open seam past New Haven defender Maureen MacConnell via an assist from Brittney Yetter.
Later in the first half, Yetter, who was recently selected to be on the All-PSAC East First Team, scored her eighth goal of the year.
For Yetter, she knew the biggest barrier for the team this weekend was to respond to the loss that knocked the Golden Rams out of the PSAC playoffs on Nov 6, which snapped the team’s 21-game unbeaten streak.
“It was a wake up call for us,” said Yetter. “We knew we had to play better as a team.”
The concept of playing better sure paid off for Golden Rams’ goalkepper Heather Rinker, who continued her dominant play and recorded her sixth shutout. A win like this makes the defeat to Kutztown seem like a distant memory.
“It’s indescribable,” said Rinker of the winning the title. “We’re excited. We’re getting it done.”
Rinker finished the game with four saves, but was mostly uncontested the entire game. The Golden Rams defense continued its stifling performance, out-running New Haven on loose balls and setting up the offense, which tallied 11 shots on goal.
Julie Karcher, as usual, made her presence felt in the second half when she added to the Golden Rams lead. It was fitting for Karcher, who now has 45 career goals, to put the finishing touches on the team’s first-ever regional championship.
Karcher’s 45 points this season, including two goals on Saturday versus Adelphi that broke the single-season record, ties her with Heather Allgyer for most points in a season. In her career, Karcher is second all-time in points with 98.
The Golden Rams remarkable record of 20-1-2 gives the team the most wins in WCU soccer history, including the men’s team.
A historical win for the Golden Rams, but the season is far from over.
“I just want to take it all in,” said Yetter, “but we’re not finished yet.”
The women’s team plans not to change its strategy preparing for next week’s contest, even for a team they’ve never faced.
“We just have to practice hard and work as a team,” said Rinker. “We really want to be in the tournament. We got our focus back now.