Coming into the week undefeated at 3-0, the third-ranked Golden Rams field hockey team continued to shine this week with another pair of convincing wins over Mansfield and Bloomsburg to remain undefeated.
West Chester traveled to Mansfield University for its first away game this season on Sept. 17. There was no bus lag for the Golden Rams after the long ride to Mansfield, as the offense continued to dominate as it has all season.
Junior Alexis Versak got the team off to a great start just under four minutes into the game with a deflection off a blast from fellow junior Kristina Scherrer for her second goal of the season. Versak added her second goal of the game less than three minutes later off a pass from a penalty corner by Alayna Brown to give West Chester a quick 2-0 lead six minutes into the game. The Golden Rams weren’t done yet in the first half, as the young guns, sophomore Marnie Kusakavitch and freshman Rachal Toppi, scored a pair of goals seven minutes apart to bring West Chester into the half with a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Versak completed the hat trick in the second half to put the WCU lead to 5-0. Making her first start in the cage this season, sophomore Sarah Krause would have her shutout bid spoiled in the 59th minute when Brianna Hathaway put Mansfield on the board to bring the West Chester lead to 5-1. Kusakavitch scored her second goal of the game and team-leading eighth of the season three minutes later to secure the 6-1 victory for the Golden Rams as they improved to 4-0 on the season. Krause recorded five saves in her first win of the season. The West Chester offense completed another dominating performance, holding a 33-9 advantage on shot attempts, and a 22-2 advantage on penalty corners.
The Golden Rams closed out the week by traveling to Bloomsburg University on Saturday. Freshman Mary Spisak notched her first collegiate goal for the Golden Rams in the 25th minute to put West Chester in front 1-0. That would be the loan goal of the first half and senior Hannah Davies added to the lead in the second half with her second goal of the season, giving WCU the 2-0 lead. That pair of goals would prove to be all West Chester needed to grind out the win in what was, statistically, their closest game this season. West Chester held just a 10-6 advantage on shot attempts and allowed a season high nine penalty corners to hold a 15-9 advantage. Krause picked up her second win of the season, while recording one save to help the Golden Rams improve to a 5-0 record this season
Junior Alexa Moran has been one of the most improved players on the team this season, even though it may not show up on the stat sheet. She has been a force in the midfield this season, not making it easy for any forward to carry the ball through her zone. Moran knows that she and her teammates can’t let this 5-0 start to the season get to their head, “We really just need to continue to take it one game at a time. I think we all keep a positive and level-headed mind set throughout the games which really helps in our success,” Moran said. Coach Amy Cohen is in her fourth season at the head of the field hockey program, and Moran says Cohen and the rest of the staff deserves lots of praise for the early season success. “I think a lot of our success is mainly because we have such a great coaching staff. They are always pushing our limits to make us the best that we can be,” Moran said.
The Golden Rams look to continue the success this week with a pair of games that will feature the highly anticipated rematch of last year’s NCAA Quarterfinals, which saw the Lady Rams’ season come to an end at the hands of top ranked Millersville University by a score of 1-0. West Chester will close out the week on Saturday when they travel to Seton Hill University.
Dylan Harrison is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at DH785892@wcupa.edu