Another campaign begins for the Lady Rams soccer team, and the eighth year for head coach Betty Ann Krempf Townsley. A lot of new faces are going to be keys in the Lady Rams’ success this season. Last year was an up-and-down rollercoaster of a season as they went 13-7, barely sneaking into the NCAA playoffs, only to be knocked out in the first round against Kutztown, 2-0.
It is funny how things work, as the Lady Rams got their revenge on Saturday against Kutztown, beating them, 2-0 on the Golden Bears home turf. Rewinding to their first game on Thursday at home against Wilmington (Del.).
The Lady Rams got off to a rough start, as they allowed an easy goal to Wilmington in the 14th minute when Loran Wyrough scored on an assist from Rebecca Sowers. This event seemed to knock some fire into the lady Rams, though, because 10 minutes later, a phenomenal goal by senior Cara Deola from just inside midfield drifted right over the goalkeeper’s head, just inside the crossbar for a goal. At halftime, the score stood at 1-1. Even though it was a tie game, all the momentum was in West Chester’s favor. They led in every statistical category heading to the second half, except for the main one, the score.
The Rams must have felt that it was unfair the score was tied, as right out of the gate they put one in the back of the net. After a saved shot from Cara Deola in the 47th minute, Carly Yost put in a rebound shot. The dagger in the coffin came in the 77th minute on a goal from senior Lexi Lentz. If there was ever a goal nicer than Deola’s in the first half, it might have been Lentz’s. She was around the midfield line when it appeared as though she was just clearing the ball, but in actuality, she was skillfully positioning the soccer ball to again drift right over the defenseless goalie’s head. At that point, it was 3-1, and that was the way it stayed on the scoreboard when the horn sounded. It was a dominating, all-around good win for the Lady Rams to start the season. After the game, junior Erika Schrock who played every minute of the game said, “So to start off the season 1-0 is awesome. Last year we had a rough start and lost some games, so it feels good to start off on a good foot.”
Their next task was traveling to Kutztown on Saturday to try to start 2-0. It was a very defensive battle to start the rainy game. They headed into halftime with a scoreless tie. Kutztown was slightly outplaying the visiting Lady Rams, but the second half was a different story on the scoreboard when two freshmen came up clutch scoring in the 60th and 81st minutes. Laura Slavich and Kaitlyn McNamara were the two freshmen with their first, and most likely not their last, goals as Lady Rams. Schrock said of the help off the bench, “The key to our success will be people coming off the bench and making a difference. We have a lot of depth this year so if we can utilize everyone, we can run teams to the ground.”
As they look to keep this early momentum going against Mansfield on Wednesday, they will need to continue to play sharp. Schrock said, “This team could go very far, due to the fact that we had a young team last year and have gained experience. We will look to the freshmen to step up and contribute to the games which they already have this past game. Our best success will come as a team.” Schrock is a defensive anchor for the Lady Rams and will be a huge part of this team’s success this year, as will every person on the team, but for now, they are off to the best start imaginable.
Ryan Calpin is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu