Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

West Chester University women’s soccer team suffer setback in PSAC tournament. The Lady Rams began their PSAC postseason journey at home against Gannon. They defeated Gannon 3-0 in the Quarterfinal match up. They then traveled to East Stroudsburg to take on the Kutztown Golden Bears in the Semi-Final match, and were defeated for only their second loss of the season, 4-2.

The Lady Rams began their PSAC postseason journey at home against Gannon. They defeated Gannon 3-0 in the Quarterfinal match up. They then traveled to East Stroudsburg to take on the Kutztown Golden Bears in the Semi-Final match, and were defeated for only their second loss of the season, 4-2.

West Chester got off to a hot start against Gannon, when Nikki Lynch scored her first goal of the season off an assist from senior Carly Yost. In a game where a lot of shots were attempted but few were on goal, West Chester made the most of the opportunities that they had.

West Chester was able to get on the board again before halftime, Marissa Valenti fired a shot that was saved, but Haley Manigiaruga was there for the rebound goal, which gave her four on the season. West Chester was able to go into the half with a comfortable lead against a good Gannon team.

This Gannon team had a lot of chances in the second half, hitting the post twice, and missing wide a few times as well. But the West Chester defense held strong, and put an exclamation point on the game when senior Dana Hunt took a corner from fellow-senior Cara Deola. Hunt was able to head it past the diving goalkeeper.

Next up was traveling to East Stroudsburg to take on No. 19 Kutztown in the PSAC Semi-final.

West Chester defeated Kutztown earlier in the season, 2-0. But this was a better Kutztown team later in the season, and West Chester knew they would have to play their best soccer. Unfortunately, it was not West Chester’s best game, and they lost 4-2.

The difference in the game was West Chester’s defense. In a season where they had only allowed more than one goal in a game twice, allowing four goals will never be a recipe for a victory. West Chester feeds off its defense, and capitalizes off opponents mistakes on offense, and then count on their defense to hold out for the game. For some reason Kutztown found holes this past weekend, and found them early. They scored two goals in less than three minutes apart from each other. The first one was scored by Kutztown’s Dana Wong in the 14th minute, assisted by Mariah Dimm from inside the box.  The next one was scored just two minutes later by Sam Costello, her 11th on the season. Kutztown was not done scoring in the first half. In the 34th minute Brooke May took a cross from Costello and was able to beat West Chester’s goalkeeper, Alex Srolis to push the score to 3-0 heading into halftime.

West Chester now had their backs against the wall, knowing they needed instant offense coming out of the gates in the second half if they wanted a chance to get back into this game. And instant offense is what they got. Senior Dana Hunt took a pass from Cara Deola, and ripped a shot from the right side of the box past Kutztown’s goalkeeper to get West Chester on the board, 3-1. All of that was done in 43 seconds into the second half. That was what West Chester needed right? The only problem is, Kutztown tacked on another goal just two minutes later. It was Costello again, with her second of the game, this time a header off of a free kick from 30 yards out. This was all but the dagger in West Chester’s comeback hopes. West Chester added a meaningless goal in the 80th minute when Nikki Lynch was able to finish a rebounded goal from Cara Deola.

West Chester will now sit and wait for the PSAC committee’s decision. It will be hard to believe if a team that posts a 16-2-1 record on the season would be left out of the Division II National Tournament, but they will have to wait and see. The announcement will be made early this week. As for now they must get better, and hope they have a chance to prove themselves.

Ryan Calpin is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu

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