The West Chester University women’s soccer squad had a long weekend trip to Erie, as they took on Mercyhurst and 21st ranked Gannon. They were victorious in both matchups, to keep their undefeated record alive.Earlier in the week the Lady Rams moved up in the national poll, coming in at No. 9 in the country for Division II women’s soccer.
First up was a game against Mercyhurst, who was undefeated at the time, with a record of 2-0. Leading point getter and goal scorer for the Lady Rams, Carly Yost, was looking to change that early in the game when she headed in a goal in the upper right hand side of the goal, for an early 1-0 lead for the Rams. That goal was Yost’s third on the season. Senior Lexi Lentz delivered a beautiful ball, allowing Yost to get her head on it for the goal. That was Lentz’s second assist of the season.
The Lady Rams did not settle with one goal, when just less than 20 minutes later, sophomore Kara Parvel delivered a strike to the back of the net, past the diving goalkeeper for Mercyhurst, to give West Chester a 2-0 lead before the 30 minute mark. This was Parvel’s second goal of the season. She delivered the strike off an assist, from none other than Yost. Yost recorded her third assist of the season.
The Lady Ram’s defense stood tall the rest of the half, and the score was 2-0 heading into halftime. However, Merchyhurst would not roll over and give up. They came out fighting early in the second half when they delivered an effective corner kick to sophomore Linnea Laitinen who assisted Kristina Roberti, who was able to sneak it by Alex Srolis in the bottom right hand corner of the goal. This was only the second goal allowed by Srolis all season.
The Lady Rams did not buckle, or fear that the Lakers would strike again. A strong defensive front, and a heavy plethora of shots on the offensive side, allowed West Chester to control the rest of the game, and ride this one out to a 2-1 victory.
Goalkeeper Srolis made three saves on the afternoon, moving her and the Lady Rams soccer team to 5-0 on the season. Even though the scoreboard might have looked close, West Chester dominated this game. They outshot Mercyhurst 18-5, and controlled corner kicks 5-2.
West Chester’s next matchup would be the toughest they had to face thus far this season. They were going up against the 21st ranked team in the country, Gannon. However, Gannon has been struggling, and they came in sporting a 3-3 record. West Chester was off to a great start, failing to drop a game yet. They were looking to continue this as they headed into their sixth game of the season.
Freshman Marissa Valenti picked the right day to have her first two collegiate goals. The first one came in the 23rd minute of the game, when she headed in a cross that came from Carly Yost. This gave West Chester a 1-0 lead. Valenti’s next goal came about in a rare way. Goalkeeper Alex Srolis punted the ball around midfield, where Erica Hansen headed it to Valenti. Valenti then was all-alone and did the rest, firing it past Gannon goalkeeper Shannon Differ. The rare occurrence was that Srolis was given an assist on the play, marking her first collegiate point ever. This was also the first time that a West Chester goalkeeper had recorded a point in over seven years.
This gave West Chester a 2-0 lead heading into halftime, and it was a lead they would not surrender. Srolis made two saves in each half, allowing zero goals. Her fourth game this season where she has not allowed a single goal. A lot of that can be contributed to the strong defensive backfield consisting of Erika Schrock, Sara Bennis, and Carly Henry, and along with any of the other ladies that come in and contribute off the bench.
West Chester outshot Gannon 14-12, and dominated corner kicks, 9-2. West Chester will again look to continue its momentum this week as they are back home for a 4:30 p.m. start time against Lock Haven on Wednesday. Lock Haven is 2-4, coming off a 1-0 loss against Seton Hill. And they are on the road in a night game against Bloomsburg on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Bloomsburg is sporting a 4-2-1 record.
And with the new poll coming out this week, who knows where they will be.
Ryan Calpin is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu