The temperatures are rising, spring in blooming, and the West Chester women’s lacrosse team is back in action. After a disappointing loss against Lock Haven last season in the PSAC semifinals, the Lady Rams are back on the hunt, in search of bringing the PSAC trophy back to West Chester.
Signs point down a positive road with the returning starters that West Chester brings back. Leading the way, Junior Hannah Cowan will likely be the cornerstone in the Rams attack this season. Last year, Cowan was selected to second-team all ECAC after she set career highs in goals (54), assists (16), and total points (68). Her 58 goals and 16 assists both were team highs for the Lady Rams.
Lenoir-Rhyne was the first school slated to try and burst West Chester’s bubble, but the Golden Rams stayed strong and pulled out the 14-13 victory. Despite falling behind early in the second half 9-7, the Rams quickly found their way back to the top pulling an impressive three-goal turn around. A tug of war match between goals is what eventually brought the game down to the wire, in which West Chester pulled out the one-goal win.
Cowan led the way for the Lady Rams with five goals, a strong start to her season. Between the pipes, freshman goalie Paige Mitros made her first collegiate debut, posting 10 saves. Junior Erin Eckert also tacked on four goals of her own, while junior Erin Gallagher added a pair. Senior Dina Cifelli, the Rams leading point earner last season, contributed with one goal and four assists respectfully.
Despite their hard push, Lenoir-Rhyne found the fast-paced Lady Rams offense to be too much for them to handle. This would change soon, as no. 3 ranked Lindenwood traveled to West Chester on Mar. 13 to take on West Chester in a battle of top DII lacrosse programs. Lindenwood took control early on and never looked backed, beating the Lady Rams by a score of 13-10. Although WCU was comprised of a balanced scoring attack, Lindenwood countered by attacking early and often, which the Rams could not recover from.
A late game push from West Chester made the match interesting, which came with just 13 minutes left. Down six, the Golden Rams scored two quick goals to pull to 11-7, but could not bring themselves any closer than that. Lindenwood put a quick end to any hopes of a West Chester come back after striking for three more goals in the final nine minutes.
Despite the tough loss, the Rams looked to pull forward the next day against a solid Georgian Court team on the road in Lakewood, NJ. The Rams took control from the first whistle and dominated the match, winning by a score of 15-6. The heroics of Eckert and Cowan stayed strong, with Eckert adding four goals and Cowan two and two assists.
Saturday, the Rams faced off in one of their biggest games in the young season. Bloomsburg traveled to Vonnie Gros field in hopes of knocking of no. 13 ranked West Chester. A last second goal from Bloomsburg’s Julie Falk with two seconds remaining helped the Huskies accomplish their goal, beating West Chester by a score of 7-6. The game was a hard fought match between two strong PSAC teams, but Bloomsburg luckily escaped the surging Rams.
The game started off slow, but found its pace in the second half.Viguers got the start in net, while Eckert and Cowan produced their usual impressive stats. Unfortunately, as the clock wound down, Bloomsburg made the game deciding play. A missed Huskies shot resulted in a collapse of the Rams defense, which gave Falk an opening she capitalized on, sealing the fate of West Chester. Next up for the Lady Rams, Kutztown travels to Vonnie Gros field to take on the Rams.
AJ Arcaini is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AA788494@wcupa.edu