After dropping two of their previous three games entering last week, the West Chester women’s soccer team got back to its winning ways with a 1-0 win over Mansfield University.
The Golden Rams have struggled scoring recently which is somewhat of a surprise after the scorching start they had to the season. In their first three games, the Lady Rams scored seven goals. Since that point, and up until the conclusion of their win over Mansfield, the Rams have scored only three goals in a four game stretch.
The problem is not the Lady Rams’ attack. They have been very active in the offensive zone all throughout the season. The problem is that they are struggling to convert their opportunities into goals.
“Part of our struggle to score right now is our attackers are our young players and new players,” said Head Coach Betty Kempf. “Teams tend to pack the back on us because we can create so many oppurtunities to score and there are quality goalkeepers in this league.”
In the game against Mansfield, West Chester outshot the Mountaineers 27-7, and had seven corner kick chances. They were only able to convert on one of their many chances, when Kara Parvel received a pass from Shannon Hoeveler, for her second goal of the season in the 61st minute.
“I ended up going 1 vs. 1 with the goalie and placed the ball far post,” said Parvel. “It was great to help my team to a victory after coming off a loss.”
The West Chester offense created plenty of chances, including a couple of shots that hit the post, and even more shots that trickled just wide of the goal.
“We are happy with the way we played today, and getting the win is the most important thing,” said sophomore forward Tayler Jamison. “We’re getting good chances offensively and feel like all we need is to break through offensively.”
With the offense struggling to put the ball in the net, West Chester’s defense continues to thrive, and did so yet again in the win over Mansfield, holding the Mountaineers without a single corner kick attempt in the match. West Chester goalkeeper Alex Srolis made five saves on the way to her fourth shutout of the season for the Golden Rams.
On the season, the Golden Rams’ defense has only given up two goals on one occasion, in their loss to Gannon University, a game that was played in the pouring rain. In total, the defense has only given up an astounding four goals in seven matches after Tuesday’s match against Mansfield.
“We defend well as a whole team and we have a lot of upperclassmen in the back,” said Jamison. “Their experience playing under this system is leading to our success defensively.”
The team emphasized this style of defense all throughout the preseason and continue to show their ability to defend every time they step out onto the pitch. All that is left to do is iron out the missed opportunities offensively.
“We will continue to train and work on our attack,” said Kempf. “I believe as our forwards work together continuously we will improve on finishing those opportunities. Our best soccer is ahead of us.”
Their best soccer looked to be ahead of them as they derailed Shippensburg 2-0 on Saturday with a strong effort from everyone that stepped on that field in purple and gold. A goal by Kara Parvel and Marissa Valenti both assisted by Libbie Frazier was the difference in the PSAC match up.
Billy Reardon is a fourth-year student majoring in communications with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at WR783095@wcupa.edu