West Chester University women’s soccer team was awarded the precious gift of hosting the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA tournament due to an East Stroudsburg loss.
West Chester was coming off a great win in penalty kicks over California (Pa.) and the only thing that could have made it better was hearing that East Stroudsburg lost, and West Chester would then become the home team for the next two rounds of playoffs. And that is exactly what happened. East Stroudsburg fell to the No.5 seed West Virginia Wesleyan in penalty kicks, and West Chester hosted West Virginia Wesleyan on Friday for a spot in the quarterfinals against St. Rose College.
It was a very cold and windy afternoon in West Chester, and it was a very physical, hard fought game. The game got off to a fast start, and that start favored West Chester. Scarlett Walsh took a pass from Kara Parvel and it was a one-on-one and Walsh was able to beat Wesleyan’s goalkeeper to put the Rams up 1-0 in the fifth minute.
The rest of the first half was back and forth with neither team gaining an edge. West Chester went into halftime with a lead, but everything else was exactly even. Both teams had four shots, and each team had one corner kick.
Going into the second half both teams knew they were in for a battle until the last whistle blew. Both teams had numerous chances in the second half to score, but due to the superior goalkeeper play from both teams, they were having trouble putting the ball in the back of the net.
The best chance for West Virginia Wesleyan was when a Wesleyan player collided with West Chester goalkeeper, Alex Srolis. Srolis stayed down, injured, but there was no call by the official. But due to good defense by West Chester they were able to clear the ball and get help to Srolis. Srolis needed to be helped off the field and could not continue to play the final 25 minutes. Backup goalkeeper Maddie Mitchell was called upon to close the game out.
Mitchell was able to do just that. With the help from her great defense and West Chester playing conservative offense, they were able to find a way to win the game 1-0. The game was very even throughout. But good teams find a way to win and that is exactly what West Chester did.
West Chester then awaited the winner of Mercy and Saint Rose College to see whom they would face in the quarterfinals. Saint Rose would go on to beat Mercy 3-0, and the match up was set. West Chester versus Saint Rose. Part two. Two years ago this same match up at the same place happened. Saint Rose defeated West Chester at West Chester in the NCAA Quarterfinal match up 4-1. This time around West Chester would be looking for revenge.
The game did not start well for the Golden Rams. It was a completely dominated first half by Saint Rose, who had 12 shots, seven on goal to the Golden Rams one shot on goal and three total shots. But with the play from Srolis West Chester somehow went into the half tied 0-0. But something would have to change coming into the second half if they wanted to win this game.
Unfortunately, West Chester was not able to do so on this day. Just three minutes into the second half Saint Rose was finally able to find the back of the net when Roxana Hernandez beat Srolis to put Saint Rose up 1-0. West Chester’s best chance to tie the game came when Kara Parvel hit the post off a Lexi Lentz corner kick. Saint Rose then added the dagger in the 85th minute when Carmelina Puopolo took a pass from Gianna Smith and adding her 21st goal of the season to put Saint Rose up 2-0, and end the game. West Chester was outshot 20-3, and 9-1 on goal. Saint Rose will now travel to Kentucky for the final four, while this loss ended West Chester’s historic season with a record of 17-3-2.
Ryan Calpin is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu